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Letter from Dubai

The holy month of Ramadan, the ninth in the Islamic calendar, has an outsized impact on the fortunes of the media and advertising industries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa). Ramadan is the month when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk; it is also a month when the television industry brings out its most lavishly produced serials. It is a month dedicated to devotion and prayer; it is also a month when the consumption of media soars and advertising rates spike, particularly on television. Media professionals often refer to Ramadan as a month long Super Bowl. The metaphor is somewhat inaccurate because Ramadan has an impact on consumption, shopping, brands, advertising and media in ways that the Super Bowl cannot hope to rival. The fast can last for as long as 16 hours, particularly in years when Ramadan falls in the summer months. Muslims stay awake from the pre-dawn Suhoor meal till late into the night. In the Arabian Gulf, restaurants and coffee shops open only in the evening and offices shut by mid afternoon. Most of the time is spent with the family and after the breaking of the fast at dusk, everyone gathers around the television.

MENA Effies, partnership

We're delighted to be partnering with the ninth edition of the MENA Effie Awards (Effies), who have recently announced their expert panel of judges, which includes 147 sector leaders who will be judging thousands of entries to select the most effective marketing efforts in the region. The results will be announced on 15 November at a ceremony that is expected to attract more than 2,000 attendees, including the best marketing and advertising professionals in the Middle East. Alexandre Hawari, Co-CEO of Mediaquest – the organiser of the MENA Effie Awards – commented: 'Our judges are absolutely crucial to the success of the Effies, because it is only by working with the finest minds in the marketing world that we are able to identify the best work that has been achieved in our sector this year.' He added: 'Entries are open and the deadlines are fast approaching, so we urge all companies to seize this opportunity to display their innovative, effective approaches to everything, ranging from sector-specific marketing to branded content and media ideas. Our panel of judges is eagerly awaiting your entries.'


Men in Eqypt refuse to disclose their mother's name lest it gets shamed and used as the subject of mockery. They are referred to as the mother of their eldest son and gradually their names are forgotten.   UN Women asked men to celebrate Mother's Day by using their mother's name as their Twitter profile picture and use #mymothernameis to let the world know who their mother is.   Watch more Pioneering Spirit videos in our Cinema.

Asad Rehman on changing

The ad world has always been on the cusp of a major change! “Chasing the new” comes naturally to this profession. It should not sound like a bad thing, it is chasing that new that gives the industry that sense of freshness and novelty that any piece of advertising and communication should always have. Whether the change has some real significance beyond novelty or not, defines whether that change will influence the ways of working in the industry. The changes this time are significant and we are in for overhaul of the industry ways of working. Technology has changed pretty much everything we do in the last ten years. It will do more of it in the next five.

"No Rights.No Women."

  No Rights. No Women is an organisation created in Lebanon to raise awareness of gender discrimination and the legal obstacles to women's rights    A social media campaign was launched to imagine a world without women before demonstrations on International Women's Day ensured national and international news coverage    As well as gaining more than $1.2M worth a free media coverage the campaign ensured laws are being changed and continue to be challenged.   Watch more Pioneering Spirit videos in our Cinema.  

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