Veteran Ad Man, Ramsay G. Najjar, Passes Away
Posted on 2020 Nov,20  | By Ghada Azzi

Professional ad man, author and communications guru Ramsay George Najjar passed away in Beirut on the morning of November 19, 2020 suffering from complications related to COVID-19. He was 68.

For many, Ramsay was a veteran and regional authority in the communication field. It wasn’t just the white hair, the air of calm authority or his eloquence. He was a true seasoned ad man whose vast career in Communication spanned over 40 years, and was one of his personal passions. Ramsay was also a renowned strategist and advisors to kings and governments throughout the region.

Having graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Master’s degree in Mass Communication ((1974)) and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Education (1978), Ramsay Najjar began his career as an academic professor before moving into the world of advertising and marketing that he entered as an account director at Publirizk in 1978-1979, then joined Intermarkets as head of the client servicing department, a role he kept till 1981. Then he went on as Chairman of Rouge inc.

Ramsay received more of the spotlight as the driving force behind Saatchi & Saatchi Beirut, which he established in 1992 in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi, the global multi-award winning advertising company. While head of Saatchi & Saatchi Lebanon, the agency went on to elevate the regional advertising industry to unparalleled heights of maturity and professionalism, reaping a vast array of prestigious local and international awards along the way.

Ramsay is a respected veteran of an industry that owes so much to this fascinating man who dedicated his life to improving its inner workings and advancement on the local, regional and international scene.

He has also been a leader in copywriting and television, creating and producing the most popular Lebanese and Pan Arab televised educational quiz show “Al Moumayazoun”, which scored the highest viewership rating of all television program categories and secured the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation’s (LBCI SAT) top ranking to date, a premiere record.

Additionally, he has conducted numerous studies and analyses of the ad industry including the development of the ethical chart, which was endorsed by and integrated into the by-laws of the Syndicate of Lebanese Advertising Agencies (SLAA).

Ramsay is also the former President of the International Advertising Association (IAA), Lebanon Chapter. His contribution to the academic field was also noteworthy, as he co-founded the Faculty of Advertising at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA)- University of Balmand (UoB). He was also the Chairman of the Marketing Department and Member of the Board at the School of Advertising of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA).

In 2002, he founded Strategic Communication Consultancy (S2C) with a vision of transforming the region’s communication landscape by offering strategic counsel to multinational and regional corporations, governments and public entities, supporting them in reaping the benefits of a strategic approach to communicating with their various stakeholders, strengthening their relationships with them, helping build more viable public images and immunizing their reputations.

Ramsay Najjar is the author of several books in the fields of philosophy, politics and religion, among which are “The Right Not to Remain Silent” (April 2016) in both English and Arabic--a book originally driven by the desire to valorize communication, especially that is he believed it was extremely ignored and misrepresented; “Arab Philosophy Through History”; "Views, Reviews, and Previews" and “So That God Comes Back to Lebanon”.

Ramsay was a dear old friend, an avid reader and supporter of ArabAd. His latest contribution to the magazine, was in its November issue with a piece written by his team at S2C on the aftermath of the August 4, explosion at Beirut Port.

It is said that the value of a man’s life is measured by the people he has been able to touch and inspire. Ramzi Najjar a beacon of our industry has touched and inspired many of us with his absolute eloquence, his charming presence and sensible humour. He will be greatly missed.

Social media was flooded with tributes and messages paying respect to the ad guru that was Ramsay. For almost everyone who knew him, he was a joy to work with--he was smart, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional. A gentleman above all, and one of the best! Yes, they dont make like Ramsay anymore! May he rest in peace.

He is survived by his wife Leila and sons Mazen and Ghassan to whom ArabAd team extends heartfelt condolences.