Firas Mghames: ‘Adversity is the Fuel of Greatness’
Posted on 2023 Mar,09

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“In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.” This assertion—often attributed to Albert Einstein—certainly applies to Lebanon’s ad business where many advertising executives knew how to take advantage of the Lebanese crisis. One such case is of Feer Mcqueen. In this interview, managing director Firas Mghames, speaks of the agency’s learning and accomplishments during these difficult times.

What strategies have you implemented to maintain the operations of your business during the ongoing crises and remain motivated in a challenging environment that may not foster creativity?

In the face of crisis, creativity is crucial. We have had to push our boundaries and explore new markets and ways of managing our team and business. This has led to the opening of new physical locations in Riyadh, Larnaca, Doha, and Cairo, as well as serving clients remotely in other countries.

To support our team during these challenging times, we have implemented various activities, competitions, social gatherings and outings to help them stay engaged and insulated from external stress. We hope that these efforts to provide them with a happy place or safe haven within the agency will enable them to maintain their ambition, positivity, and creativity.

Overall, we have learned that even in the toughest of situations, it is possible to find opportunities for growth and success. While we look forward to a brighter future, we are proud of what we have accomplished during these difficult times.


Where do companies typically acquire new clients in today's market, considering that clients have become more discerning in choosing the businesses they work with and where they place their advertising?

Interestingly, despite the challenges of the last two years, we have received a significant number of leads from Lebanon. This is particularly noteworthy when compared to previous "normal" years. Regrettably, due to payment terms and other technicalities, we were unable to take on these clients.

Typically, our new business comes from the new markets we are operating in across various industries. Our main focus is on Food & Beverage as well as Banking in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Technology and FinTech in Larnaca, Cyprus, and Hospitality and Hotels in Doha, Qatar.


"While we look forward to a brighter future, we are proud of what we have accomplished during these difficult times."


Do you believe that companies in the Gulf are taking advantage of the low-priced creative services offered by network agencies and smaller local ones based in Beirut for the Arab region?

Yes, definitely! In 2020 and 2021, network agencies had the opportunity to hire Lebanese talent at a low cost due to the economic situation in Lebanon. However, this has had an impact on the market and many creative talents are now refusing to accept low pay. As a result, network agencies are investing less in Lebanon. Despite this, the market still holds potential for remote work opportunities, which can be a favorable option for certain talents.


If, as many argue, creativity is not solely dependent on large budgets, then why has there been a noticeable lack of creative advertising campaigns in Lebanon in recent years?

I firmly believe that creativity is not dependent on large budgets. However, recent developments in the advertising scene in Lebanon have caused me to question this belief. There has been a significant decline in the quality and quantity of advertising in various forms. I am uncertain if this is a result of the "brain drain" or loss of qualified professionals in the market, or if it is due to clients opting for cheaper talent. Whatever the reason, it is a unfortunate outcome.