Sunday, June 18, 2006

PR agencies, crooks?

DMO has had the fortune (or misfortune) of meeting with many of Dubai's PR agencies (MD's, CEO's, Account Directors, etc.) There appears to be a pattern here. The higher the position, the more arrogant they get.

It's rather interesting to observe, as they have very little to be cocky about. I'm starting to wonder if the PR industry here has any qualified people at all. There are a few exceptions of course.. but the majority are just not there.

Your average MD is happy with just issuing press releases for their clients, mounting clippings and sending it off with an exaggerated AVE that they pull out of their ass. They claim that it is what the client wants. Is it?

Does anyone out there really do any actual research before launching a campaign for a client? The answer is, no. Very very very very few (I can only count 2 agencies) that do this. However, they're all happy to bill their clients for whatever inflated AVE they dream up.

"Hey look, this press release has generated $50,000 AVE!" Yeah right. Look again. Even if you were to consider the AVE's as a measure (and it hardly is), you cannot and should not, get away with this. Clients really need to wise up to those crooks. Yes, crooks.

DMO would love to hear from people who actually do give their clients the full picture.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ART -- the most despicable regional corporation

ART is on a roll. On a roll of alienating everyone who is forced to fork out unreasonable amounts of cash to watch a badly put together broadcast of the FIFA 2006 World Cup.

6Days has continued to campaign for them to put the score and time on-screen during the matches. Yes, ART, it seems logical to us, but I wonder why my Dhs. 854 isn't enough to get you to achieve such a magnificent technical feat. I mean, seriously, how difficult is it to get that done?

For those wondering how come I'm paying so much less than what I originally posted, this is the figure I calculated, based on the deal offered by eVision (an Etisalat subsidiary -- and yet another crappy company).

Not only that, but ART employees offer the worst possible customer service on the phone. On one occasion, the representative scoffed off a customer because she spoke English with a Southeast Asian accent.. but suddenly turned friendly upon hearing her boss's Scottish accent. The representative was an Arab, no less.

Shame on you. You are now DMO's top most hated corporation. Not only are you extorting your customers, but you are also a racist organization. Good job!

Alex McNabb and blogging paranoia

Campaign's lates issue (June 11, 2006) had the usual column of absurdity by the self-proclaimed PR guru, Alex McNabb of Spot On PR. Normally, DMO doesn't care to comment on his nonsense, but since he touched on blogging, it seems like it's time to take a look at what he was blabbering about.

McNabb suggests that a lot of the blogs are there to promote one company or another. He says,
Perhaps now you can tell me which one of our region's celebrated blogs is being targeted by shills in the pay of big corporations.
Welcome to the new paranoia.

Ah, Alex Alex.. the truth of the matter is, most corporations are not half as sophisticated as they would like to think. Blogging is hardly taken seriously by any major corporation. Besides, really, how many regional blogs are 'celebrated'?

Aside from Secret Dubai and Emirates Economist, there really isn't any other decent UAE-based blog. Of course there are a couple regional ones here and there, but they hardly promote any companies. Perhaps Mahmood's Den could be taken as an MTC Vodafone advocate with his Boycott Batelco.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

DMO gets mentions, among other things..

DMO is very excited to get mentions in Gulf News, quoting the Snafi post! It seems that Flip guys are so excited I gave them a thumbs up that they added this to their blogroll. Wow.

Okay, moving on. I just noticed a Pathfinder billboard on the SZR. Certainly different (they have stuff that looks like it's glued onto the billboard). It sure caught my attention, but I didn't like it much. It just looks like clutter. It's good to be creative, but this particular billboard just looked noisy.

6Days has an ad for an Indian restaurant on the Letter to Editor page. Right above it, a snapshot from a previous issue of 6Days about contaminated food, with the word 'CONTAMINATED'. They both are more or less the same colors (the ad and the snapshot).

Something tells me that this should be avoided. How about some coordination between advertisers and publication to ensure that the advert doesn't come up in the wrong place? Shouldn't this be obvious? If I want to sell food, I don't want it next to an article about contaminated food! If I were McDonald's, I don't want to be mentioned next to an article on obesity.. etc.

All publishers should have one person, who is in charge of ensuring that advertising clients' interests are kept at heart when placing their ads. Don't put it in the wrong place! It makes you look stupid. It definitely should make your client upset.