Come Rain or Shine
Posted on March 20, 2016 | By ArabAd staff

In this open, no-holds-barred piece exclusive to ArabAd, Nabil Khayat, MD of Havas WW Arabia talks about the challenges and difficulties facing the regional ad industry in general and the Saudi market in particular.

Revenue generating, an art or a craft

The main issue on the mind of all ad agency managers is no longer profitability, rather the lack thereof! Revenue generation is proving to be an art instead of a craft in such difficult volatile years! 

The business model of ad agencies has been shifting to a value added agency model. Clients are looking for a partner who will shoulder their marketing needs and provide all the necessary services to drive the client’s business to success. 

These services now include over and above marketing consultancy, market creative designs, research, and strategic planning, in addition to new disciplines such as digital, online services, and PR.   

 In short, clients want more for less, hence the profitability crunch.

My concern is not just 2016, but what will happen in 2017 onward.

I think the market has matured enough. However, the existing opportunities are for the daring, innovative agencies! Those who dare to challenge, who dare to innovate and venture into new avenues of revenue generation. 

How would you describe the current atmosphere of business in KSA?


What is the most urgent need that agencies and client should be addressing today?

Serious commitment!

What are the priorities or main key areas of focus your agency has set for itself?

Integrated communication solutions under one roof: Digital at the agency core, PR, Media and social management.  

What’s holding back KSA’s creative industry from being recognised further on a regional and international level? 

Dubai syndrome! 

What needs to be done differently to capture the international jury’s attention and recognition?

Capture the international brands, which channel all their businesses to and through Dubai! Come ‘on, even Saudi companies are following that path these days.