Soon! The Business Ideas Workshop for Creatives

with Patrick Collister

Beirut, May 8, 2015

IAA hosts second successful Apprentice Conference in Dubai

Two-day conference with the attendance of LAU and NDU students

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Dubai, November, 2014

On November 7th and 8th, the International Advertising Association held its second professional development and career conference for university students planning to work in the advertising, marketing and communications industries.

The two-day conference in Dubai, UAE brought together students and senior industry executives from media, advertising and technology firms. Students heard first-hand about employer hiring strategies, recruitment practices and expectations of new staff.

A prominent theme that emerged through the talks was how students could better prepare themselves for an advertising industry that is changing rapidly in the face of digital evolution and growth in new technology.

Faris Abouhamad, IAA Chairman and World President said, "This conference has brought together the who's who of the advertising industry for an informative, interactive session with the next generation of advertising and marketing professionals. The IAA is determined to help the advertising industry attract the best young talent available, and the Apprentice Conference is a strong addition to the IAA's global education portfolio. It represents our commitment to providing an interactive career insights program that really makes a difference for up and coming professionals."

More than 130 people from around the world attended the conference at the Emirates Aviation College Campus, including students from the American University in Dubai, UAE; Ecole Supérieure de Publicité, France; Effat University, Saudi Arabia; Edith Cowan University, Australia; Jeddah College of Advertising and King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia; Lebanese American University and Notre Dame University, Lebanon and Zayed University, UAE.

Diane Slade, IAA Vice President Learning, said, "The IAA has pioneered a global dialogue between the classroom and the workplace, through its focus on young professionals. We are responding to a need in the industry for more young talent, which we are uniquely qualified to deliver through our global and regional chapter network and commitment to education and professional development."

The event was made possible through the presenting sponsorship and support of leading regional media company The Choueiri Group, together with Emirates Group Security, Edith Cowan University, the American University in Dubai, Gulf News and AGA/ADK advertising and marketing.

Speakers included: Faris Abouhamad, IAA Chairman and World President; Michael Lee, IAA; Jake Thomas, LinkedIn; Raj Kapoor, American University in Dubai; Nassib Boueri, Wunderman; Rayan Karaky, Google; Samah Ahmed, BBC Worldwide; Joy Sahyoun, AGA ADK; Hicham Fakhoury, Choueiri Group; Paul Boulous, Commercial Bank of Dubai; Diane Slade, IAA; Mansour Salameh, Facebook; Gregory Bolle, City Football Marketing; Kamal Dimachkie, Leo Burnett MENA; Gokul Krishnamurthy, Campaign Middle East; Mazen Hayek, MBC Group and Ricarda Ruecker, MCN.



The IAA's 75th Anniversary - A Gala Ceremony in tribute to Mr. Antoine Choueiry.

May 23, 2014



IAA Launches The Case For Advertising

Global campaign to focus on the value of advertising

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New York, February, 2014

The International Advertising Association has launched a global public service communications initiative to demonstrate to consumers and governments, the vital role of marketing communications to all economies. The first outdoor advertisements of "The Case for Advertising" campaign are installed at Kingsford Smith International Airport and downtown Sydney, Australia, and will roll out in other countries.

In making the announcement Faris Abouhamad, IAA Chairman and World President stated "As the only global partnership of advertisers, agencies, media and specialized services the IAA is able to speak with one voice on behalf of our members and the industry. We have undertaken large pro-bono communications programs before - most notably Hopenhagen - the IAA's climate change initiative for the United Nations COP 15 which was the largest ever such initiative of its kind. The new IAA "Case For Advertising" campaign focuses on many of the core benefits that are deeply rooted in marketing communications - that advertising promotes choice; educates; informs; supports the arts, entertainment and sports; and often contributes to the costs of providing news and information. The campaign focus is for consumers and governments to understand the value of advertising in its many forms, including sponsored content. It comes at a time when the ad industry is under ever greater scrutiny by governments and policy makers and often on the defensive. The campaign builds around the statement "Advertising. Your Right To Choose". And he further commented "This is a very important and unique program developed by the IAA and we are pleased and proud to receive media support for it. The message is strong, and the objective is clear - that consumers do have the right to choose - and the advertising theme reminds us all that freedom of choice is a good starting point in democracies."

Australia was selected as the launch market for the Case for Advertising to coincide with a 75th IAA Anniversary Leadership Forum - What's Coming Next? being held in Sydney by the IAA's Australia Chapter on Tuesday February 18th 2014. Launch of the first advertisements was made possible by donated media from oOh! Media Australia. oOh! Media CEO, Brendon Cook said "The IAA continues to be a powerful forum for local issues within the industry. As Australia's largest outdoor media provider, oOh! is pleased to be the launch media for the IAA's 75th Anniversary that will utilise big billboards and our market leading digital networks spanning shopping centres, airports, universities, cafes, bars and social sports centres".


Making Waves

Interview with the president of the IAA-Lebanon Chapter Joe Ayache in ArabAd Magazine


Floated imageBeirut, August, 2013

Impact/BBDO’s Group Managing Director Joe Ayache who was recently elected president of Lebanon’s IAA chapter sat with ArabAd for an interview on what’s the future of the IAA in general and that of Lebanon’s ad industry hold.

The IAA worldwide has been on an agonisingly-slow decline as demonstrated by the dwindling number of global participants. On the other hand, there has been significant increase in new entrants from Lebanon and the Gulf. How do you explain these phenomena and do you believe the top brass running the show from New York are taking you for a ride?

The IAA Worldwide was affected by the global economic crisis in 2008/9. Subsequently, it weakened so much that a number of members defaulted and, as a result, some chapters closed down. Also, the cancelation of the World Advertising Congress in Bahrain due to political unrest did not help either considering that the last IAA meeting was back in 2010.

But presently things are returning to normal. Today the IAA has more than 3,000 members globally. Dormant or closed chapters are being reactivated with new elections taking place during the month of June in Cannes. Also, the new Excom is in place and very active under the leadership of Pdt Faris Abou Hamad and the new team members.

The Middle East is very well represented in the new board with, for the first time ever, four Lebanese members. The World Congress will take place in November 2014 in Beijing, China. Michael Lee, an IAA veteran and former president was appointed as the new managing director and hence is now a full timer overseeing the IAA’s revival.

On a brighter note, the IAA will celebrate its 75th anniversary in London with a leadership forum in October of this year and a Lebanese delegation is set to take part. In addition, an IAA apprentice conference will be organised in November 2013 in Dubai. Keep in mind that the IAA is still the only entity capable of organising events attended by the major ad men.

As we all know, the IAA doesn’t have any executive power, so how do you envisage its role in the midst of this chaotic jungle-like environment?

It is true that the IAA does not have any executive power, but it has and can increase its presence thanks to a powerful lobby group. As a matter of fact, the IAA assembles all the players in the advertising market from agencies, media companies, production houses and clients who represent the stakeholders, hence exercises great influence necessary for change.

It also has a reservoir of talents and human capital best exemplified by past presidents such as Walid Azzi, Ramsay Najjar, and Moustapha Assaad amongst many others who are CEO’s of networks and can therefore influence, through their connections, a best-practices guideline raising the IAA’s reputation.

I have already contacted these eminent personalities who expressed their willingness to assist and support the IAA to the best of their abilities so that we may overcome the various challenges that lay ahead.

What are your plans in transforming the IAA’s Lebanon chapter from a social club to an effective entity?

The plan is simple: achieve victories and then win enough battles to win the war. The IAA will maintain its revered status and will continue to work alongside all the stakeholders, namely the economic entities, the Lebanese Syndicate of Advertising Agencies, advertisers, thought leaders and opinion makers to activate its primary mission which is “Inspiring Communication Excellence”.

In relation to Lebanon’s immediate concerns, we are looking to improve the following:

1.  Market Growth: the market, valued at $150 million annually, has been in stasis for over 4-5 years necessitating the need for further growth. To achieve this, we are adopting a different approach and are laying the groundwork to realise our goal.

2.  Advertising Career: we will undertake several steps to reengage university students pursuing an advertising degree by staging conferences, forums and competitions. In support, we will also have B2B entities promoting the advertising industry to introduce all newcomers to the marvelous world of this profession which we whole-heartedly love.

3.  Betterment: We will trigger regular training sessions and seminars for the industry’s professionals so that they may stay well-informed and actively engaged.

4.  Togetherness: We will engage our network of past presidents, senior members and active alumni by having them take part in legislation and action in support of strengthening Lebanese advertising.

The secret is simple: together we can make a difference which is my intention as well as that of the new board.


Join the Lebanese delegation!

Please contact us at 76-141519 or


IAA's New Team Gets to Work - Election and Vice Presidential Appointments

Naji Boulos appointed as Vice President Government Relations Middle East/North Africa

Cannes, June, 2013

The International Advertising Association (IAA) Board of Directors annual meeting was held on Tuesday June 18th 2013. Elections and Vice Presidential appointments took place effective until May 2016. IAA World Chairman and President Faris Abouhamad, who took office in January 2013, stated "Our association, in its 75th Anniversary year will benefit from the energy and talents of IAA leadership drawn from virtually every part of the world. I am especially pleased and excited to have such able colleagues as the IAA charts its future. I cannot imagine a better or more capable team to embrace and deliver on the IAA's plans and initiatives."

The following individuals were elected: Senior Vice President- Felix Tataru COO at GMP (Romania), Treasurer - Glenn Hansen President and CEO of BPA Worldwide (USA), Secretary - Erich Buxbaum Managing Director of EHB Consulting GmbH (Austria). 

And the IAA Chairman and Word President, and Board of Directors confirmed the following appointments:  

Jill Cohen - Vice President Area Director US/Canada, Saad El Zein - Vice President Area Director - Middle East/Africa, Pradeep Guha - Vice President Area Director - Asia/Pacific, Pawel Kowalewski- Vice President Area Director- Europe, Michael Lee - IAA Managing Director, Carla Michelotti - Vice President Corporate Members and Government Affairs, Naji Boulos - Vice President Government Relations Middle East/North Africa, Norkor Duah - Vice President Development, Africa, Hani Ghorayeb - Vice President Development Middle East/North Africa, Heather Leembruggen - Vice President 75th Anniversary and Special Events, Diane Slade - Vice President Learning, Srinivasan Swamy - Vice President Development Asia/Pacific.


IAA - Lebanon Chapter elects a new executive committee 2013-2015

Beirut, May, 2013

The Lebanon chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) elected a new board for a two-year mandate 2013-2015. The executive committee is composed from the following:

Joe Ayache: President
Naji Irani: Vice President
Ghada El Khatib: General Secretary
Bernard Hatem: Treasurer
Naji Boulos, Ralph Bacha, Bruno El Adm, Yasser Akkaoui, Hana El Khatib, Georges Slim and Kamil Kuran: Members.

During the general assembly, the last board headed by Naji Boulos presented the achievements of the chapter during their vigorous mandate.
The IAA members, then, praised the new committee and the President who promised to have a prominent mandate ahead with new achievements and active events. Ayache also stated that the IAA will always be the advocate of freedom of speech and the lobby for all the advertising professionals in Lebanon. 


Pikasso Iraq wins the 10 years exclusive advertising contract for Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf International Airport in Iraq:

Baghdad, May, 2013

Pikasso Iraq LTD, Iraq's number one out of home advertising company, has signed a 10 years contract for the exclusive advertising concession of Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf International Airport. This contract is effective as of March 2013.
Najaf airport is the most important destination in Iraq for pilgrims visiting the Holy Cities and Shrines of Najaf Al Ashraf, Karbala and Kufa. This airport has an average of 1,260,000 travelers per year and is served by more than 15 airlines, among them: Iraqi Airways, Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways, and as of May 1st Middle East Airlines.
A wide range of innovative displays such as frontlits, 2m² backlits, 8m² backlits free standing, 4x3 panels and spectaculars ensuring full visibility, will be installed to cover the indoor and outdoor areas of the airport.
Pikasso Iraq LTD is part of Pikasso/Lawhat group which also is the leading OOH in Lebanon, Jordan, and Algeria.
With more than 9,000 advertising faces, Pikasso/Lawhat enjoys a key position in the Levant and North Africa region and offers a comprehensive range of products and formats in 300 cities and towns.


IAA Conference at NDU

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Beirut, April, 2013

The Mass Communication Department and the NDU Advertising Club held a conference at the NDU's Friends' Hall about Lebanon Communicating. MM. Naji Boulos and Bernard Hatem and Mrs. Hana El Khatib, all from the IAA Board, discussed the various changes that the Advertising Industry has passed through.

120 students and NDU professors were present and a number of Old TVC's were broadcasted during the conference.






The Planner's Toolbox Seminar

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Beirut, April, 2013

Behind every great campaign, there is a planner!!!

The IAA Lebanon Chapter organized a Strategic Planning Seminar:
Planner's Toolbox presented by Jim Avery
This interactive one-day seminar was attended by 35 professionals from the Advertising Industry and was a real success.




The Lebanon Chapter honors the new Lebanese World President Mr. Faris AbouHamad

Beirut, January, 2013

Under the auspices of the Minister of Information, Mr. Walid Daouk, the IAA Lebanon Chapter held a lunch at Le Maillon Resturant in Achrafieh to honor Mr. Faris Abouhamad, the 5th Lebanese heading the IAA Worldwide, after Samir Fares, Mustapha Assad, Jean-Claude Boulos and Joseph Ghossoub.
Over 180 admen gathered to celebrate Abouhamad’s election, and to congratulate three members of the Lebanon Chapter, MM. Khalil Bitar, Roy Haddad and Hanna Anbar for their 25-year membership in the association.
Mr. Daouk saluted the efforts of the chapter to bring back Lebanon on the regional and international advertising map and wished them success in the future. He added: "The growth of the advertising market contributes to the independence of the media, which will not be forced to depend on political financing"”.
Mr. Faris Abouhamad presented the main directions of his action plan for the coming two years and invited the Lebanese Chapter to bid for the World Congress in 2015.
Mr. Mustapha Assad, the past World President, presented a retrospective of the Lebanese achievements within the IAA during the last 50 years.
Mr. Naji Boulos, President of the Lebanon Chapter, stressed on the importance of the Lebanese government’s role in supporting the youth in establishing their startups instead of letting them travel abroad to find good career opportunities.

The Lebanon Chapter presented a trophy to Mr. Abouhamad and assured him its full support in all future projects he is planning to accomplish. 


International Advertising Association Appoints New World President

Dubai, December, 2012

The International Advertising Association’s new Chairman and World President, Faris Abouhamad, will officially take over the reins of the global operation from UK-based Alan Rutherford on 1 January 2013.

Mr Abouhamad is Founder and Managing Partner of Interone Resonance Middle East LLC, Dubai and IAA Vice President and Area Director for Middle East and Africa, a position he has held since 2010.

Mr Abouhamad said: “The advertising business has no doubt entered a new phase of evolution. Growing challenges from various new regulations across various markets will ultimately affect the desired excellence in communication. Further investments and sharpening of the on-board resources in favour of better delivery will receive a higher focus from various players within the industry.

An IAA member since 1984 Mr Abouhamad has served as IAA Vice President for Government Affairs Middle East during the 2008-2010 terms. Before his appointment to Chairman and World President, Mr Abouhamad served on the UAE Chapter Board of Directors and acts as their representative on the IAA World Board. Professionally, Mr Abouhamad has held in senior positions at Publicis from 1980-1988, McCann Middle East 1988-2004 and at WPP before moving to run his own agency, Interone Resonance Middle East LLC.

Mr Abouhamad added: “I am looking forward to working closely with all stakeholders of the industry as we place high emphasis on working together with our corporate members to limit any negative impact resulting from new regulation while our role in education will be stepping up a gear in the coming years.”
The International Advertising Association, the world’s only globally integrated advertising trade association, is split into five worldwide regions: Middle East and Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, USA and Canada; and each of these regions has several chapters within it. Within its structure, the Association comprises of three constituencies: Individual Members, Chapters and Corporate Members.

The IAA’s activity worldwide actively works to strengthen the position of the marketing communications business in the market place by acting as a central hub and respected go-to for industry professionals. The IAA promotes the role and benefits of advertising in all healthy economies and the foundation of diverse, independent media. It provides a forum for industry debate, promotes brand building and protection and advancement of freedom of commercial speech and consumer choice. IAA encourages greater practice and acceptance of advertising self-regulation and takes the lead in state-of-the-art professional development through education and training.


IAA World Congress Bid Committee Visits Malaysia!

Kuala Lumpur, November, 2012

Earlier this week, the International Advertising Association (IAA) Bid Committee for the 2014 World Advertising Congress visited Malaysia as part of their inspection tour. 

Led by IAA World President Elect Mr Faris Abouhamad and team members Mr Naji Boulos, IAA President Lebanon chapter and Mr Pawel Kowalewski, IAA President Poland chapter, the committee visited the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, nearby hosting facilities, key hotels and held site and budget meetings with the IAA Malaysia Executive Committee.

As the delegation left Malaysia, IAA World President Faris shared, "We were impressed with the great lengths you have taken in terms of preparations, commitments, deploying various government departments in order to secure a comprehensive bid and delivering an unmatchable bid. We were not only pleased with the infrastructure, the country, the initial preparatory plans presented, financial feasibility but also by the team's dedication, commitment and passion to make it happen. I wish you all the best and hope the coming few days will bring a positive decision."

The visit was hosted by IAA Malaysia chapter, MyCEB and AOS Conventions. IAA Malaysia chapter’s President Harmandar Singh added, "We hope to win this very closely fought bid to host the World Congress in KL. And when we are up against China, it cannot get any tougher!"


Lebanon is shining again on the international scene: Faris Abouhamad elected IAA World President

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London, October, 2012

During the Excom held in October 2012 in London, the IAA Global announced that Faris Abouhamad has been appointed IAA Senior Vice President, effective immediately. It was further agreed that Faris will take over the position and duties of Chairman and World President on January 1st 2013, when Alan Rutherford the actual president plans to step down. 
Faris AbuHamad is currently Managing Partner of Interone Resonance Middle East LLC, Dubai. He is the IAA Vice President/ Area Director for Middle East/Africa, a position he has held since 2010. He has been an IAA member since 1984 and served as IAA Vice President-Government Affairs Middle East during the 08-10 term. He serves on the UAE Chapter Board of Directors and as their representative on the IAA World Board. Professionally, he has served in senior positions at Publicis from 80-88, FP7 Middle East 88-2004 and WPP for a short while before moving to run his own agency.

Faris takes on his new role during challenging economic times as the IAA energizes and evolves its role in the industry: "The global centre will be working even closer with our stakeholders in evolving the advertising industry fast enough, to encounter the ever changing world of marketing" he stated.

“This is the 5th time that a Lebanese reaches the highest position of the IAA Global” says Naji Boulos, President of the IAA Lebanon chapter, “this is a pride and honor for the advertising industry and Lebanon”

Before Abouhamad, Samir Fares, Mustapha Assad, Jean Claude Boulos and Joseph Ghossoub reached the highest position of the IAA Global.


Memac Ogilvy's Annual Meeting Validates Pervasive Creativity as the Essential Ingredient for Modern Business

Beirut, November 7th 2012

Memac Ogilvy, one of the leading multinational communications agencies in the Middle East, recently held its regional management meeting in Lebanon to review the agency's performance in 2012 and agree on plans for 2013. The five-days meeting, held at the Phoenicia Hotel, was chaired by Memac Ogilvy Chairman and MENA CEO Edmond Moutran, and attended by Regional Discipline Heads and Managing Directors from the agency's 14 offices.

Edmond Moutran opened the conference by thanking all offices on this year's excellent results and particularly on the outstanding achievement in becoming the "Most Awarded Advertising Agency in the MENA Region" in 2012. He also praised both Tunis and Dubai offices for earning their prestigious place at "The Cadre", Ogilvy's most coveted creative circle, and boosting Memac's consolidated ranking to third position among Ogilvy's 450 worldwide offices.

"Creativity is a business necessity in our challenging and crowded environments where people are struggling to get ahead through tenacity, creativity and imagination" said Edmond Moutran. "As difficult as it may be, I expect 2013 to be even more brilliant as at Memac Ogilvy we deeply believe creativity is an essential ingredient for modern business success", he added.

Pervasive Creativity, Digital Communication, Talent Management and Awards, were at the heart of the Memac Ogilvy's agenda and workshops to ensure the agency continues to add value to the business of its clients. While Pervasive Creativity has become Memac Ogilvy's state of being, where the impulse to create, to innovate and to look for inspiration in everything is ever present and unrestrained, Digital Communications across all disciplines was of prime highlight during the meeting. Edmond Moutran pointed how social media is taking hold across the world and how it's changing corporations and markets by building customer relationships, managing their reputation, and running their businesses.

"Social media is driving change in markets around the world, shifting the way we form opinions and make purchase decisions. We rely on our social networks for news, information and recommendations. At Memac, we understood that early on and will continue to design programs and implement solutions that span across all disciplines, driving our clients' businesses forward", said Edmond Moutran.

Talent Management & Training was also one of the meeting's key focal topics. In placing people at the core of Memac's business, Edmond Moutran shared plans to embed the agency's talents across Ogilvy's best performing offices in a worldwide Talent Exchange program.

The meeting comes in the last quarter of a year full of outstanding accomplishments with the agency opening additional offices, winning new clients, and receiving accolades from the global advertising industry by winning: 5 awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity; the exceptional Grand Prix and 5 additional awards at the Clio Awards in New York; 2 Grand Prix and 29 additional awards at the Dubai Lynx; 7 awards at the One Show; 1 award at the D&AD; 2 awards at the New York Festival; 3 awards at the Epica; and the acclaimed "Winner of Most Influential Ad" by TED Initiatives.


Impact Porter Novelli celebrates 40 years of dedication

Beirut, October 2, 2012

Impact Porter Novelli (IPN Beirut), the prominent public relations agency in the region, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the global network by leaving a permanent mark in the core of the Lebanese environment. On this day, the Beirut’s team decides to take a moment to reflect on 40 years of industry-defining work and to look forward toward a bright future. Prizing both heritage and diversity that define IPN’s core value, the team embarked on a nature loving and community serving celebration highlighted through the planting of 40 cedar trees on October 2, 2012.

IPN could have blown candles on a cake and called it a day. But, united in their values and dedication, the team commemorated every year with a cedar that defines uniqueness and perseverance.

Porter Novelli, founded in 1972, is a transformational force in the PR industry, one that is recognized for its passion, deep strategic insights, and determination to deliver measurable results. “Turning 40 is a milestone and a perfect opportunity for us to come together to celebrate our successes and give back to a country that has challenged, tested and rewarded our work”, said Perla Richa, Country Director at Impact Porter Novelli (a division of Impact BBDO). 

With a worldwide reach of 90 offices in 60 countries, Porter Novelli called for celebrations that reflected the collective spirit and authenticity of each office in relevance to its community. “IPN is part of a global network that has helped in revolutionizing the industry. The team today will be at the forefront of innovation for the next 40 years and beyond, as have been the values of the group to be timeless and rooted in Lebanese culture like the cedars”, stated Joe Ayache, Group Managing Director.

Following the Cedar planting at the Shouf Reserve, the IPN team was introduced to the history of the cedar during a hiking session that was followed by a traditional lunch at Baytna restaurant. The day was all about the simple pleasures and the moments that came from special times with family and friends.

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