What is the most significant change you wish the ad industry makes in 2018?
Posted on 2018 Jan,24

Ad men and women are polled about the one change they dearly wish the industry embraces in 2018.

Nada Abi Saleh, Managing Director, Leo Burnett - Beirut



George Slim, Chief Executive Officer, Pimo

There are quite a few things I would like to see unfold in the coming year, but if I were to narrow it done to a single wish, I’d say I hope that the industry will witness a revival of faith.

Whether it is to create inspired communications or to build strong businesses, it is essential for all of the players, clients and agencies alike, to remember what advertising was born to achieve; and invest in means that build meaningful brands and grow sustainable businesses, beyond mere survival.

And for that, we all need to allow ourselves to hope for an abundant future, and believe in our ability to – slowly but surely, go make it happen.


Serge Dagher, Managing Director, Rizk Advertising

One thing I believe is crucial for the industry, and by crucial I mean it has a life or death issue is the regulation of rates and rate cards by media and media reps. The limitless/brainless war between media reps, the ridiculous prices we are ending up having, the lack of credibility of everybody as a result, the capacity of the client to obtain spots for the price of nuts is shrinking the advertising media spend instead of growing the market, and eventually in a market going banana, we will all end up being jobless monkeys.


Natalia Abboud, Managing Director, TBWA\RAAD - Beirut

One of the biggest challenges the ad industry has been facing over the last decade has been coming to terms with the technological revolution and its impact on the way agencies operated in fundamental ways. Both agencies and client teams have had to navigate a complex and ever-expanding ecosystem of creative, media, social, analytics. And whilst most agencies have embarked on a ‘transformation’ journey in one way or another, the reality remains that there is a growing rift between agencies and client expectations. A rift further widened by the multitude of other players advancing on their turf and redefining the playground, from the likes of Google to management consultants. This has led to many questioning whether the ad industry has the pulse on the future, even worryingly, whether it is fit for the future.

To that my answer is an emphatic YES. As clients look at further consolidation and integration revolving around a single customer view, they are looking for a partner capable of “making the complexity invisible’ in the words of Marc Pritchard Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer at P&G. And whilst, one may claim that creativity can be sourced anywhere and is no longer the sole domain of the ad industry, the ability to harness creativity for the purpose of building brands naturally is.

As agencies and holding groups continue to re-bundle into a model that is “client /consumer-centric” in 2018, the ad industry will need to open up in a spirit of radical collaboration, pulling in creative talent and expertise from different worlds. The more diverse perspectives at the table, the better the results, the less we settle with the status quo and better prepared for the future. Our clients expect it. The consumer demands it. 


Carole Hayek, General Manager, Magna 

It has been years that the industry is struggling in the deep recession stage with short lapses of recovery, which led some of the ad/media companies to a depression during 2017.

I wish to see our industry during 2018 concentrating all its energy, will and action to break this stage of extended recession by creating a healthy climate favorable to bring change and move forward into prosperity.


Elie Aoun, CEO, Ipsos Connect MEAP

In the last two years, a lot of changes happened that affected negatively the ad industry in our region. Print has collapsed, Outdoor is in trouble, Radio is not growing, TV is struggling, and Digital is the only media that is growing, but with a lot of question marks around it. Till now, despite all this, and despite many companies facing problems, and many jobs lost, there is no single initiative to put the major players around a table, to decide all together what can be done to save the ad industry and to get out of this hole. So, my single wish for 2018, is that some people have some wisdom, to call for an industry meeting, to put their hands together, to try to save what can still be saved. 

The industry surely lacks leadership.


Hala Dahrouge, Associate Creative Director, Purple Advertising:

Stop making stupid people famous! This is my single most significant change wish for 2018, as we are putting the media in the hands of people not worthy of any trust or even respect, and this is becoming a true social issue. 


Ramzi Barakat, Founder and CCO B, & welovebrand

The single most significant change I would like to see in the ad industry is: Everything.

I truly wish if the ad industry in our region changes one thing. Everything.

I wish of clients to trust, challenge and encourage agencies for better work. I wish of agencies to pull out from despair and write new and inspiring work. I wish of the creative to actually create to dream and to bring their dreams to life. I wish of them to say NO very often. I wish of clients to say YES more often. I wish of both clients and agencies to take together the less travelled path. I wish of clients to believe in new agencies if they want to see something new. I wish of them to want to see something new in the first place. I wish of conference rooms to shoot fear down right there and come out to the world with new inspiring ideas not recipes. I wish of the ad industry to be called again sometime soon: creative. Don’t you?


Tala Majed, Communication Executive, Spirit

Advertising is everywhere, it is so powerful that it cannot only mirror the society we live in but can also shape it. Advertising has the ability to influence people’s minds and perceptions and to affect social norms and values. Thus, the most significant change I wish to see in the ad industry in 2018 is for the community to make use of the power of advertising in a smart way; beyond just trying to sell a product, and instead shedding more light on society’s portrayal of gender roles and norms.
Gender displays and stereotypes are still widespread in today’s advertising, wherefrom the use of codes and certain behaviors that conserve the image that the society expects to see in regards to gender, which contributes in establishing and reinforcing gender stereotypes.

Hence, since advertising is such a powerful tool, I wish the community can employ it to challenge society’s norms and expectations; instead of serving and nourishing it. 
It is time to reconsider how to use advertising to make the world a better place. 


Ghada Chehaibar, Managing & Creative Director, Purple Advertising:

I have a quench that 2018 will be the year of positive changes and adjustments. It might be a personal feeling, but I strongly believe it's adaptable to all the fields and levels, national, economical and social.

I resume my wishes for the ad industry by these thoughts:

  • Becoming more demanding
  • Stop tolerating stupidity and making it trendy! Wil Joumhour 3ayez kida!!
  • Being more efficient
  • Benefiting from every moment
  • Being selective; (i.e not to trust every blogger and loose time within chaos)

Hoping for the best in 2018 throughout these efficient changes! 


Aline Baddour, General Manager, Horizon FCB - Beirut

With all-time limited budgets and economic challenges, the advertising focus should be on practicality for implementing any concept, in order to deliver the best results with minimum resources. For instance, develop a new communication tool that combines practicality, efficiency and creativity, to impress clients. Moreover, with social media campaigns being more and more frequent, partly because of the efficiency of this platform to deliver results with smaller budgets, my 2018 wish would also be to create an indicator that measures, monitors and evaluates social media campaigns, making the life of advertising practitioners easier and clients happier.