Assaad Kassis on rebuilding a thriving advertising industry in Lebanon
Posted on 2024 Mar,12

“it is undeniable that 2023 has not been a vintage year for Lebanon. The economic challenges, political instability, and the war have all left an indelible mark on businesses across the country, including the advertising industry,” states Assaad Kassis, General Manager, UM MENAT, who shares his outlook on the state of the ad and media business in Lebanon and what is needed to rebuild a thriving industry.

‘The term 'business as usual' may not accurately describe the current state of affairs in Lebanon.

As the landscape of the Lebanese market undergoes significant transformations, media agencies face the dual challenge of navigating a price war initiated by media owners and addressing clients' heightened focus on short-term gains. In this complex environment, our media agency is poised to devise strategic solutions that not only navigate the aggressive pricing strategies but also align with our clients' imperative of marketing's contribution to growth.

   Media owners, facing increased competition and economic challenges, have initiated a price war to secure advertising budgets. This aggressive pricing strategy aims to attract advertisers by offering lower rates, resulting in a highly competitive environment within the media ecosystem. On the positive side, clients may benefit from lower advertising rates, allowing them to stretch their budgets further. This could result in increased ad placements, broader reach, and more extensive campaign strategies. Conversely, the intense price competition may lead to concerns about the quality and effectiveness of advertising placements. Media owners might cut corners to maintain profitability, potentially affecting the overall impact of campaigns.

   To mitigate the impact of the media owners' price war on client budgets, agencies must explore a mix of media channels to reduce dependency on a single platform. This diversification ensures flexibility and allows for optimal allocation of budgets based on performance metrics. Utilizing data analytics to identify cost-effective channels and optimize campaign performance, ensuring maximum value for clients. Openly communicating with clients about the market dynamics and potential impacts on budgets, fostering transparency and trust.

On another hand the Lebanese market is experiencing a notable shift in client priorities, with an increased emphasis on short-term gains. Clients, faced with economic uncertainties and changing consumer behaviors, are leaning towards strategies that yield immediate results, such as boosting sales and conversions, and reducing long term brand building.

   In transcending the immediate emphasis on short-term objectives, our agency aptly recognizes the pivotal role of marketing in cultivating overarching business growth. To realize this vision, we orchestrate a nuanced strategy, notably featuring a performance marketing focus. This involves a meticulous alignment of our media planning strategies with clients' short-term goals, accentuating precision in targeted online advertising, promotions, and other tactful measures designed to promptly enhance sales and conversions.


“To achieve a prosperous and thriving industry reminiscent of the golden era, strategic collaboration and redefined relationships are paramount.”


Furthermore, our holistic approach underscores a commitment to educating clients about the strategic equilibrium required between short-term gains and enduring brand development. By elucidating how meticulous marketing strategies contribute to sustained growth, we advocate for a comprehensive perspective that harmonizes seamlessly with our clients’ overarching business objectives.

   Within the precincts of our media agency, we have strategically embraced a transformative modus operandi, cognizant of the imperatives of agility and resilience. The dynamic nature of the marketing landscape mandates the seamless integration of talent, tools, and technology to ensure triumphant outcomes. As innovation unfolds at an unprecedented pace, our commitment to agile processes becomes paramount, facilitating swift testing, adaptation, seamless rollout of strategies, and commit to creating game-changing work.

    As we reflect on the challenges and transformations within Lebanon's advertising industry, the vision of restoring it to the golden age requires a concerted effort to rebuild the essential triangle formed by clients, agencies, and media owners. In order to achieve a prosperous and thriving industry reminiscent of the golden era, strategic collaboration and redefined relationships are paramount.

    The economic picture in Lebanon undoubtedly poses challenges. To navigate this landscape, agility and adaptability are crucial. Developing contingency plans, diversifying revenue streams, and closely monitoring market trends will be essential for mitigating risks and seizing opportunities.

Additionally, the increasing saturation of digital platforms and channels is another challenge. Marketers must stay innovative in capturing and retaining audience attention amidst the noise. Striking the right balance between traditional and digital channels, harnessing the power of AI, and staying attuned to changing consumer behaviors will be critical.

   In conclusion, rebuilding a thriving advertising industry in Lebanon requires a holistic approach that involves strengthening relationships in the golden triangle, embracing AI, addressing economic concerns, and preparing for emerging threats. By fostering collaboration, staying technologically advanced, and remaining adaptable, the industry can look forward to a renewed era of success.’