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30 November 2008
PrP oof that online ads don’t A special report on web-based
havh e to bore or blind us marketing and media in
p16 the region p09
Online opportunities
Advertising/Marketing/Media/Public Relations Issue 0010 30 November 2008
In this issue
during financial gloom
Cutbacks at AMG
Global slowdown forces Dubai media group to freeze recruitment and reduce costs
DUBAI The Arab Media Group
(AMG) has frozen recruitment
and is looking to cut costs as the
impact of the global financial cri- EVEN THE Chinese authorities have bowed to the almighty
sis continues to be felt in the UAE,
Busy brander
according to an internal memo
obtained by Media Week.
The Media House’s John Deykin Group CEO Abdullatif Al Sayegh
tells us about his day job, his (pictured) last week informed
side projects and his hobbies. staff that the company will elimi- World Wide Web. As we report (p.7), the walls of censorship are
p22 nate unnecessary expenditure
and “freeze recruitment as well
MARKETING as business travel”. The latter will
now be subject to “special ap-
proval” from management.
When contacted by Media starting to tumble as the Communist Party admits it is unable to
Week, Al Sayegh denies that there
is an outright ban on taking on new
staff, but does admit that “we have
to be careful with recruitment”.
“How much money has AMG
lost this year? I wouldn’t say that According to sources at the com- Observer business editor Frank An insider at AMG, who requests control subversive elements posting their opinions. The Party
the company has lost any money. pany, the current economic climate Kane has resigned his position anonymity, says that Kane’s depar-
There’s nothing serious so far, but is behind a delay in promoting Al as AMG’s director of business ture “shows that there are prob-
End of elitism there may be an impact in the Sayegh to chairman. Mohamed Al media by “mutual consent”. lems within AMG. Someone of that first three months of next year,” Mulla, formerly of Dubai Media “Plans change, especially in these calibre is not easily replaced.”
The Economist’s brand says Al Sayegh. City and now executive director at troubled times for the world econo- Kane’s departure follows that
manager explains the The internal AMG memo stat- AMG, is widely tipped to replace Al my. My role at Arab Media Group of Gavin Dickinson, who quit his
newspaper’s more inclusive claims it is changing its policy to take advantage of information ed that the company expects an Sayegh as CEO. was no longer consistent with its post as AMG’s chief commercial
marketing strategy.
p28 “overall market recovery in the The news follows last week’s immediate plans,” says Kane in a officer in September to join the
second half of 2009”. announcement that former statement issued by AMG. Abu Dhabi Media Company.
FEATURE 10 ‘Six figure’ deals for beach sex couple
Q&A 14 access for security and stability. Either way, the web has won
THE NINE 16 News, TV and book approaches could be worth Dhs565,000, says lawyer
DIGITALWEEK 20 The two Britons convicted of hav- former ITP executive Palmer is The immediate story is for the
PROFILE 22 ing sex on a Dubai beach could more concerned with “putting British ‘red tops’ [tabloid press]
OPINION 24 each command payments of up to the record straight”, according to and mid-market papers. The
MARKETINGWEEK 28 Dhs565,000 ($154,000) by selling Acors’ lawyer Andrew Crossley. Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday and has once again proven it is an indomitable force.
ADWEEK 30 their accounts of the incident to “There’s a clamor for a docu- have expressed an interest.”
IN FOCUS 32 the press, Media Week can reveal. mentary, a fictionalised repre- Crossley claims that each of
AD SHOWCASE 34 Michelle Palmer and Vince sentation of the events, and a the pair could ‘comfortably’ com-
DESIGNWEEK 36 Acors (pictured), who are thought book,” Crossley tells Media Week. mand a five-figure sum (up to
PEOPLE 37 to have returned to the UK last “I’m only representing Vince, but £99,000, or Dhs565,000) by sell-
THE BLOTTER 40 weekend after their three-month I’ve been in touch with Michelle ing their stories. The worldwide media industry embraces the web in some
jail terms were suspended, are cur- too. She’s contemplating one TV Acors has employed publicist
rently in talks over print, TV and or newspaper interview to dispel Lee Bowden, director of the UK-
book deals documenting the inci- the myths and rumours. based Media C.A.T, to handle his
dent, which took place last July. “We’ve had enquiries from relations with the press. “We’re
Acors is actively pursuing lu- across the world. I was speaking close to signing a deal but I can’t
crative deals with the press, while to The New York Times last night. talk about it yet,” Bowden says. sectors, but has been slow to realise its potential in others.
This is especially true in the Middle East which has long been
hooked on outdoor, TV and print advertising. Page six is
devoted to online news, and one remarkable stat highlights
internet advertising’s fast rise—Ramadan online ad spend
Publisher Ashley Rees
grew by 82 per cent in 2008—numbers like these should make for excited media execs.
Times may be rosy in the tech sector, but media in general
Peter Barton, editor
continues to struggle. As our cover story exposes, the crunch
Executive editor Chris Wright
is starting to find victims in the UAE, but for now it is a gentle
Editor Peter Barton
start with a hiring freeze emerging at AMG. Let’s hope it
doesn’t turn into the same kind of wholesale panic that some
News writer Charlie Neyra
media companies find themselves battling on both sides of
the Atlantic.
The media sector here would be wise to note that companies
Creative director Victoria Calaguian
which embraced new media at an early stage are able to fight
Head of design Roy Cruz
the downturn more effectively, so read on and if the Middle
Designer Leigh Walsh East bottoms out in the same way, maybe we can help you keep
Designer Rouland Medina
your head above the stormy water.
Designer Ali Arellano
Designer Maricel Poso
Chief photographer Bernard Testa
Photographer Mosh Lafuente
Production manager Maher Mahbouby
Senior production executive Issam Ghanem
Circulation director Nick Pomeroy p02 p03
Marketing director Gemma McKeown
Marketing manager Shaik Shibli
Advertising & Sales
Commercial manager Tanya Sharp
+971 50 633 6284
Publishing director Mike Orlov
Managing director Neil Petch
Group CEO Rehan Merchant
Chairman Hanif Merchant
The Publisher does not accept any liability for errors or
inaccuracies contained in this publication, however caused.
The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those
of the Publisher. Information contained in this publication
is intended for general use and readers are advised to seek
specialist information before acting upon any information
enclosed herein. No part of this publication or any part of
its contents may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form, p12 p26
without the express permission of the Publisher in writing.
The only exemption to this is for extracts used for the purpose
of fair review.
p28 p30
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