Ramadan MENA Consumer Insights

Consumers’ activities saw a major shift during Ramadan due to flexible and shorter working hours. The average time spent watching…

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Consumers’ activities saw a major shift during Ramadan due to flexible and shorter working hours. The average time spent watching TV increased significantly during the  Holy Month, with dramas, sitcoms, soaps and religious programmes all enjoying high ratings.

Movies, music and sports channels, however, fared badly. Even news programmes were slightly affected.

Total ad spend for newspapers and television grew to $2.1 billion from $1.58 billion, a rise of 34 per cent. This was driven by increased spend on Pan Arab, Kuwait and Egyptian TV.

The Pan Arab, GCC and Levant regions posted a significant gain of 42 per cent spending on television, buoyed by a 49 per cent rise in spending on Pan Arab media.

Newspaper and TV spend rose 34 per cent across the three markets, while it went up
49 per cent in the Pan Arab region. (Note: We define Pan Arab media as titles that have significant reach in two or more markets.)

Having crossed $1.8 billion, Pan Arab media constituted about 77 per cent of television spend as advertisers focused on multiple markets rather than targeting specific areas through local channels.

Pan Arab newspaper spend remained virtually unchanged with a modest gain of two per cent, but TV spend
increased by nearly 42 per cent. Pan Arab TV media spend hit $1.42 billion during Ramadan, up 49 per cent from last year. It now accounts for 77 per cent of the regional TV spend.

Egypt continued its upward trajectory following a surge of nearly 168 per cent during H1, rising 26 per cent for TV during Ramadan.

In Kuwait, TV made robust gains of 56 per cent during the month.

Pan Arab media became increasingly focused. Advertisers targeted Egypt and Saudi Arabia proportionately as per their population.

Telecom brands were the most advertised sector in the region, with
five brands appearing in the top-10 list
of advertised brands. The top five
advertised brands were Etisalat
Egypt, Mobinil, Zain, Chevrolet and 57357 Hospital.

Food and beverages gained 77 per cent to become the second most
advertised sector. Government organisations were third. The same pattern followed TV, but in newspapers the top advertised sectors were government, malls and retails stores, followed
by automobiles.



Egypt replaced the UAE as the biggest ad market in the region in H1, buoyed by a 168 per cent surge in TV spend compared to Ramadan 2009.

The country will most likely emerge as the top spending advertising market in 2010 as TV spend surpassed $141 million, up 26 per cent over Ramadan 2009. The region’s TV spend was up 16 per cent over the same period.

The top five most advertised programmes all had a Pan Arab reach and raked in more than $50 million each. These were: Sheekh Al Arab Al Hamam, AayzaAtjawaz, ZohraWaAzwagha Al Khamsa, Bab Al Hara 5 and Al Aaar.

Al Jamaa, watched mostly by housewives as per PARC’s Egypt TV Ramadan tracking survey, was the most advertised programme. The spend for this programme alone exceeded $20 million. It was followed closely by ZohraWaAzwagha Al Khamsaat $19 million. DawamAlhal was third with nearly $9.3 million.

The top three sectors by spend in Egypt were government communication, utilities and food and beverages. WaqfaMasriya was the region’s most advertised brand in 2010, ranking first on Egyptian TV spend.  Etisalat Egypt and BanqueMisr ranked second and third respectively on Egypt TV. A number of advertisers preferred Pan Arab media to reach the
Egyptian market.

Pan Arab TV gained 49 per cent this Ramadan to attain a total spend of $1.4 billion and the region’s spending on television crossed $1.8 billion for the month.

More stations and advertisers are targeting Egypt than ever before, with ads on main stations such as MBC Group and Rotana. It is likely, therefore, that ads in Pan Arab media will be directed at large markets on programmes with mass appeal.


Saudi Arabia

The Saudi market was affected by the 2009 downturn. It posted a five per cent drop overall and 6.5 per cent fall during Ramadan 2009, but recovered in H1 2010 to gain nine per cent compared to the same period last year.

The market witnessed a robust growth of 39 per cent in TV spend compared to the previous year. The average growth during Ramadan was five per cent.
Newspapers, which constitute an
80 per cent share among major media, gained only three per cent compared to Ramadan 2009. The country is
also increasingly being targeted via
Pan Arab media. Local channels contributed only four per cent of the media type share.

The government, with a 21 per cent market share in advertising, was the top spending sector in the market.

Malls and retail stores gained 21 per cent over last Ramadan and were the second biggest ad spenders in the region.

Financial services reversed their decline of 73 per cent during Ramadan by posting an 87 per cent growth. Most of the sectors were in the black, with the exception of publishing media and real estate.

The top five spenders in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan were Zain, STC, Al Ber Charity, Sony and Ford.

The market, in all likelihood, will attain double-digit growth in 2010, but main advertisers with brands spread across the region will also use Pan Arab media to achieve better regional reach.



TV spend on local UAE channels reached $36 million, a four per cent growth.

Spend in daily newspapers – $74
million – fell 10 per cent since Ramadan coincided with school holidays. Some dailies stopped publishing, switched to online or reduced publishing frequency during the month.

Government and malls were the biggest spenders in local papers and TV during Ramadan. The third biggest was automotive. The top three most advertised sectors during Ramadan on TV were government, shopping malls and
publishing media.

The top five most advertised programmes across UAE channels were Shaabeyat Cartoon 5, Al Ghafa, Ma Asaab Al Kalam, Al Shara, and

The top five most advertised brands across local newspapers were du, Etisalat, Carrefour, Sony and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

Spend for newspapers and TV reached $110 million, which was more in line with Ramadan 2007 when it was nearly $107 million.

In Ramadan 2008 spend rose 75 per cent, but Ramadan 2009 plummeted by 38 per cent. This year Ramadan saw a six per cent decline, although as the trends indicate the last quarter of 2010 is likely to see positive growth.


The views expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of PARC.

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Google launches native ad-blocker to improve Ad standards

After almost a year of preparation, Google has finally released their new native Ad-blocker for Chrome, hopefully pushing advertisers to…

After almost a year of preparation, Google has finally released their new native Ad-blocker for Chrome, hopefully pushing advertisers to improve their ad standards and quality. Google chrome will now automatically filter and disable certain ads and websites that do not adhere to their new set of rules.

Users will not have to fear bad experiences again as websites with pop up ads (with no exit/close button in sight), full volume music when opening webpages, and etc.

The ad-blocker has been in the works for almost a year now, with sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal back in April 2017. The ad-blocker will be turned on by default for all Chrome users.

This is another step for Google, who aims to ensure a better online experience for their users, and to shift the ad industry from intrusive advertising to more subtle and relevant ads.

Google and fellow internet giant Facebook are members of the Coalition for Better Ads, an international industry group that has researched the different forms of web advertising that has annoyed internet users the most.

The group has complied a list of undesirable ads, listing 12 forms of online advertising that advertisers should avoid to provide consumers with the best online experience. Unsurprisingly, the biggest offenders are in mobile.


via Coalition for Better Ads


The ad-blocking system has been rolling out for a while now, and has already caught some offenders. According to Google’s Engineering Manager Chris Bentzel, “As of February 12, 42% of sites which were failing the Better Ads Standards have resolved their issues and are now passing. This is the outcome we are were hoping for — that sites would take steps to fix intrusive ads experiences themselves and benefit all web users.”

For users, when navigating through websites, the ad-blocker will first check on the website you are about to visit, checking if it is a part of a website that had been flagged as not following the Better Ads Standards. If it is, ads will be automatically blocked.

When this happens, this is how it will look like for users.



If you’re a website developer or website owner, you can visit Google’s Ad Experience Report to find out if you need to make some changes.

Otherwise, you may receive a 30-day warning from Google about your violations. Ads will not be stopped by default until 30 days after the warning has been issued, and there have been no changes.


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#BloggerGate; how one hotel got over 4M Euros in publicity

You may or may not have heard, but BloggerGate has been washing over international media the last few days, just…

You may or may not have heard, but BloggerGate has been washing over international media the last few days, just like how Cadbury’s Aliens have taken over our newsfeeds.

Caused by a simple request for free accommodation by a young influencer and the snarkiest reply from a hotel, Bloggergate has now amassed over 4.2 million Euros in free publicity.

But, what is Bloggergate?


From the top

On Jan 16, White Moose Café and Hotel posted a Facebook post that showed a redacted email from a young influencer who was interested in the hotel. She emailed asking if the hotel would be interested in a collaboration, as most influencers do, but she wasn’t expecting this reply.


Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),Thank you for your email…

Posted by The White Moose Café on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The hotel’s reply has been called magnificent, many stating that influencers shouldn’t ask for freebies.

The influencer’s, UK based Elle Darby, email can be seen in the photo, where she discusses her (back then) 87k YouTube followers and 76k Instagram followers. She continues with


“My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area.

As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.”


Apparently, Darby did not do her research.

White Moose Café has been famous for its sharp witted social media, often getting into battles with Vegans and even an entire country on social media.

Its Facebook currently has over 180k fans, and the White Moose Café wasn’t here to play.

Although the hotel tried to keep her identity secret, people figured it out and flooded her social media. Darby soon took to YouTube to try and explain her side.


Her reaction video got a lot of backlash, even from the blogging community as well. Backlash continued on the hotel, to which they replied by banning all influencers from the café and hotel.

**ALL BLOGGERS BANNED FROM OUR BUSINESS**Following the backlash received after asking an unidentified blogger to pay…

Posted by The White Moose Café on Wednesday, January 17, 2018


What’s happening now

Media outlets all over the world tried to get Paul Stenson, the owner and replier of the infamous email, to discuss things and media exposure has blown through the roof.

Stenson is definitely having fun with the attention.

Following recent events, we have added a new container to our countertop…

Posted by The White Moose Café on Saturday, January 20, 2018

I have been blocked from Twitter for Tweeting to Aldi UK a screenshot of an abusive message one of their employees sent…

Posted by The White Moose Café on Friday, January 19, 2018


Posted by The White Moose Café on Monday, January 22, 2018


The biggest thing happening now though is a PR company’s estimation of how much the free publicity that both have received would be in advertising spend.

According to ClearStory, an Ireland based PR company, BloggerGate has been written about in over 50 publications worldwide, which would have cost the influencer 4.3million Euros in equivalent advertising spend.

Well, Stenson couldn’t let the opportunity pass.

I’ll be posting out this invoice today…

Posted by The White Moose Café on Saturday, January 20, 2018


The photo shows an invoice towards the influencer, requesting payment of the 4.3 million, as well as taxes which makes it equal to 5 million Euros.

The press conference underhandedly also makes fun of President Trump, including Melania Trump.

Darby also couldn’t help herself as she released another reaction video on her channel.

So far, we’re waiting for Stenson’s next reply.


Researching before Requests

There is a lesson to be learned here for eager influencers.

Always research your target audience before trying to reach out.

Honestly, it’s a lesson all of us should know.

If Darby had done a little bit of research, she would have steered clear of Stenson’s wrath. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re in on it together?

The White Moose Café has created viral and great content gems over the years.


And even created a video, earlier in 2017, discussing how to use “Offended Snowflakes” on social media to your advantage.


If only Darby had seen it.

Either way, its been lucrative for Darby, whose YouTube channel has received over 8,400 followers since this all started. Her views have also accumulated over 2.7million views since then.

The White Moose Café has also received a lot of good will through the scandal, and will definitely get more with their brand-new t-shirts.

Paul Stenson isn’t completely bad either.

Should we follow this example?

It cannot be said that the whole situation has been bad for both parties, it’s the exact opposite.

The opportunities and free publicity from this very public, and very “savage” battle has shown that sometimes being rude or witty can get you places.

But, should others follow their example?

Could just anyone reply, as Stenson did, and receive such a boom?

Tell us your thoughts on the entire thing in the comments.

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Momentum Cairo newest Managing Director, Lina Fateen

FP7’s and Momentum’s MCN has been busy with a lot of changes in his companies the last few days for…

FP7’s and Momentum’s MCN has been busy with a lot of changes in his companies the last few days for a fresh yet challenging start for 2018, promoting two big names to new seats, and the first month of the year hasn’t even finished yet!

See here Sahar El Zoghby and Amr El Kalaawy

Another announcement has been made, this time for long time FP7/CAI member, Lina Fateen.

After working at FP7/CAI for over 16 years, starting as an Account Director, and personally working on the re-launching of Momentum in 2016, Fateen has now been announced to take over as Managing Director of Momentum.

Here is the official announcement by Momentum CEO Tarek Miknas.


Dear All,

Please join me in congratulating Lina Fateen on her promotion to Managing Director of Momentum/CAI, effective immediately.

Lina has more than 20 years of experience in the advertising industry in Egypt; 16 of which have been with FP7/CAI.

It’s impossible to think of Sahar and not think of Lina. They have been a support to one another for over a decade; building up FP7 and then taking on the ambitious challenge of  re-launching Momentum as a fully independent Total Brand Experience Agency in early 2016.

No closed offices or desks. Take a break and watch TV or video games at any time you want. And come to work in flip flops. True that it sounds like Lina in Sahel on any given weekend in the summer, but it’s also the culture that she has introduced at Momentum Cairo.

However, that comes with the precondition that we are producing Award winning work, we are driving our clients’ business forward, we are building a brand and reputation for ourselves in the market and setting an example for any future momentum to open across our network.

Lina is renowned for her multitasking and organization skills.  Her success in setting up agencies’ systems and procedures at FP7 made her a natural choice to setting up an agency from scratch. Her competitive inner drive and hunger for success, her team spirit, and absolute commitment has helped make Momentum a force to be reckoned with in Cairo

But the Momentum journey is still new and there is so much more to be done, so much more to be achieved, so many new practices to introduce and so many more brand to build. Momentum, under Lina’s leadership has the potential to overtake all the heritage player in the market, and it’s my belief that she will make it happen! (No Pressure)

Lina will report into Sahar El Zoghby, CEO, MCN Cairo.

Please join me in wishing her Totally (Awesome) Brand Experience with her team at Momentum Cairo.



Tarek Miknas

CEO, Momentum MENA


Congratulations Lina!

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Amr El Kalaawy promoted as FP7/CAI’s Managing Director

With the new year comes new changes. FP7/CAI, previously Fortune Promo Seven, has just made changes to their managerial roster….

With the new year comes new changes.

FP7/CAI, previously Fortune Promo Seven, has just made changes to their managerial roster.

Amr El Kalaawy, formerly their General Manager, has been working with FP7 for over 10 years now, and continues on with his work as, now, the new Managing Director of FP7’s Cairo chapter.

El Kalaawy takes over the spot from Sahar El Zoghby, who is currently MCN Egypt’s CEO.

Here is the official announcement by Regional FP7 CEO, Tarek Miknas.


Dear All,

It gives me great pleasure to announce the promotion of Amr El Kalaawy as the Managing Director of FP7/CAI effective immediately.

Amr has almost 20 years of experience in the advertising industry in Egypt covering almost each and every business category; 11 of which have been with FP7/CAI.

Amr’s competitive nature, stubborn determination to win, and collaborative leadership style has become well known across the FP7 network.

He has achieved his ambitions and overachieved our expectations, whether his focus was on growth, client retention, product, people or process. In fact, he manages to multi-task across all of these responsibilities on a daily basis.

When Amr introduces the digital practice at FP7/CAI, we start beating the pure play agencies within a year and have become the largest in-house digital offering in the country.

With a belief in the creative product, it’s no surprise that under his leadership, our agency enjoys a reputation far superior to other agencies – this year, we are the most Effective Agency in Egypt for the 2nd year in a row. And the 2nd most Effective in the entire region.

His office is like an open-door policy gone wild. He always has time to grow and support our people – after hiring the best of the best, of course.

By doing all of this and more, he has earned himself the respect and professional admiration of his clients, colleagues, his teams and his seniors.

In his new position, reporting into Sahar El Zoghby, as MCN Egypt CEO, he will be challenged to lead our agency to the future. And under this new structure, we can expect to see a greater deal of sister agency collaboration which we believe will lead to a richer, more integrated product.

Please join me in congratulating Amr and wishing him continued success.

He deserves every bit of it.



Tarek Miknas



We also would like to congratulate El Kalaawy for his new promotion. Amr, we’ll be waiting to see what you can come up with this year.

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