I am a big ad agency and I can give you the finger..

Team Y&R Jordan advertising awards

I am more glad than ever to have decided, 13 years ago, NOT to be part of Jordan’s advertising industry. At the time I got sick of designing an ad for “Hubbly Bubbly and Barbecue at the Marriott” and thought to myself: “how long will I be doing this stuff”. I quit the high profile agency I was working at (after only two weeks of joining) and went back to design, publishing and digital media (thank goodness!).

But it can get worse than “Hubbly Bubbly” in the Ad-world..

Take the aftermath of the Jordan Advertising Awards held last Friday at the Hayat.

The event, as always, was loud and fun, as Jazarah reports (check out his video of the winning agency celebrating their victory with ‘Jeishina’ blaring in the background!).

But, reportedly, Publicis walked out of the ceremony to protest the results of a category.

So far so “good”..

Having not attended this year’s Awards, I was curious to check out the winners in Sunday’s paper. The expensive, self-congratualoty ads are always fun to look at. But I didn’t expect that Team Y&R, the agency with the largest number of trophies this year, to give their rivals the finger on a full page.

Yeah sure it my attention. It’s easy to get attention by being rude, you know.

I just wish big agencies like Y&R would be that daring when doing their day to day job, not just when dissing their competitors.

The No.2 agency, responded the next day, with an ad that drew attention to Y&R’s self-infatuated attitude and a line of small print at bottom that said “No. 1m can you feel it now”..

I guess they mean “can you feel the finger?”..

This is all crap in my opinion. I advise all the ad agencies to donate all this money they are burning, on a good cause.

And save your creative energy on getting some good ads out for your clients, instead of the flood of ignorable ads that greet us in the papers every morning!
(for more self congratulation ads and another view of the whole thing check out Jazarah’s other post).

Publicis Graphics Jordan Advertising Awards

15 Responses to “I am a big ad agency and I can give you the finger..”

  1. Qwaider قويدر Says:

    Ishi fi3lan Bikhzi

  2. Global Voices Online » Jordan: Advertising Awards Says:

    [...] Jordanian Ahmad Humeid, who says he is happy he quit his job in a leading advertising company at the beginning of his career, comments on the way some agencies are celebrating an annual awards ceremony. Share This [...]

  3. Onzlo Says:

    I think its quiet funny to be honest. I agree with your ‘donate all the money remark’ but lets face it, these are advertising agencies, they don’t good deeds just for the hell of it is an incomprehensable concept to them, so the best way to get them to contribute to the community is to give out an award at the ceremonies for such a criteria.

  4. omar Says:

    that is just dead-on shameful and extremely childish, I love your suggestion instead of wasting almost a thousand on a full page ad they could’ve donated it.

  5. Khalidah Says:

    So I take it that they were the best of the worst??

    I do not see any creative ads around … so how come they are winning trophies for hurting our eyes and insulting our intelligence … and I am not talking about any agency in particular .. but this is the general feeling I get when I see “not so creative” ads


  6. Elias Says:

    I’m not really offended by the finger as much as I’m appalled by the ignorance of a basic fact; that advertising is about what you can do to your customer, and not how great you are! And this is an ad agency :)
    With the expansion of the media, and the different channels people can go to, agencies will have to start to think about the value they can provide to customers, instead of just saying, “ME, ME, ME!”
    I hope they discover this early enough.

  7. Sid Vicious Says:

    now these ads would have been funny, if people actually knew who the heck these two companies are! I mean it’s like advertising that “7assouneh” whipped “abu shiFFeh” yesterday afternoon bel 7ara, who gives a crap?

    And your right about these guys not doing their work right, I have yet to be impressed by a jordanian made ad so far; lack of imagination, misunderstanding of the whole marketing concept, and worst of all, no taste at all. I can design better ads in my sleep, “menna w feena”,
    “w mish bas haik” “scooter honda, honda bi khalda” oh to hell with all this crap. I’m sick of it.

  8. Issmat A. Says:

    I actually kind of like the ad. Though it might be a bit vulgar, it’s creative. Agencies are very competitive, and sometimes it helps build team moral if you let your creatives poke fun at other agencies. It builds loyalty to the agency, and reflects the culture of their work place. That ad tells me the team at Y&R are laid back, proud of their work, edgy, and not afraid to be ‘in your face’.

    Let’s not forget that lame ads are as much a result of client direction as it is of poor creative/design/copy. Team Y&R and Publicis are well known international agencies that try to employ great talent in all their international offices. Sometimes creative teams are tied down by client specs that they are not able to truely unleash their creative potential, and so venues like self-ads act as an agency outlet for complete creative freedom for the team.

  9. Tarzan boy Says:

    Y&R are just pathetic! These awards are customer awards and not theirs. If they think anyone gives a crap (except the daily newspapers who got all the money) about giving fingers or winning a couple of extra prizes then they simply sick. The advertising scene in Jordan is so pathetic, small, non creative that makes me laugh at this stupid agency. 2aal finger 2aal, yir7am teta w gamlat-ha. And by the way, Publicis reaction was quite “majestic”, congratulating their competitors’ clients (something Y&R forgot to do) and the last comment serves Y&R right, they full deserve it. Finally, if Y&R was my agency, I would have pulled my account and gave to Publicis.

  10. Amre Husseini Says:

    Hi Ahmad & All…Yes it might be a little shocking that one of the managers of the two agencies being debated would come online with a comment, but truly I had to. Although I may not agree with the comments made about the levels of creativity of either of the two agencies I would like to congratulate you on your suggestion about donating the money next time.

    There are a lot of worthy causes inclusive of the KHCC that better deserve our money, and although our ad was “in response” to the insulting gesture next time we will make sure to spend the money on a more worthy cause.

    Great blog!

  11. Humeid Says:

    Amre.. It’s great that you are commenting here..

    Let me add something to clarify my ‘creativity’ comment. As someone who is not in the ad business, but really close to it, I understand that the agencies’ creativity is often curtailed by prevailing client mentalities. I know that, across many agencies, many creative ideas are shot down by the clients.

    But with all this heated competition in the ad sector, I still insist that more creativity/originality should be expected in the output of Jordan’s agencies.

    To be fair, this is a criticism that I would also direct at my own company too.

    Although I am not totally against self promotional ads, I am happy you like my donation suggestion.

    Thanks for the comment again :-)

  12. Creative Rules Says:

    Ahmad and Amre

    Team Y&R is not giving the finger to anyone.

    read the headline.

    “How does it feel to be next to number one?”

    In other words how does the second rated agency feel being next to number one rated agency.

    Publicis in this case feels like giving the finger to the first rated agency Team Y&R.

    So there is nothing insulting about this ad at all.

    Technically, Publicis is the insulting party here not Y&R.

    Personally I thought this whole debate is the most exciting and stimulating thing to happen in Jordan advertising for years. (Apart from the past two advertising awards.)

    What is sad is that one person on Adblogarabia had to turn the whole affair into a personal nasty attack on the No1 creative agency.

    Lions rule (alias a certain Publicis director) was so deeply jealous and resentful that his agency didn’t win No1 (like it was rumoured) he went all out to discredit the No1 Agency.

    He first tried to say that all the award winning work (And for that matter all the agency’s work) was ripped off without showing one bit of evidence to prove his point.

    Secondly, when that didn’t work he then tried to attack the creative director. (Foreign creative directors is one of his pet hates) Insinuating that he hadn’t performed over the past 4 years (inspite of the fact that he has been key in winning a massive amount of new business and leading the agency to two record breaking wins at the Jordan Advertising awards over that time.) Both of which he hasn’t been able to achieve.

    He clearly showed once and for all to all his staff and the entire arab advertising world what kind of person he really is.

    On the up side at least he could recall all the advertising Y&R has been doing over the past few years. (We tried very hard to recall any work from his Agency but nothing, absolutely nothing came to mind)

    Two more long years mate….try to enjoy them… we certainly will.

  13. Humeid Says:

    Mr “Creative”..

    You’ve already argued this to death on adblogarabia.

    And I have to say I don not appreciate personal attacks made against anyone on this blog.

    Please. You’re taking yourself too seriously. I can’t believe you’re already thinking about the awards in 2009!

    All your ‘industry’ needs to show some humility. Really.

  14. Creative Rules Says:

    Is this your Blog Humeid?

    How on earth can you judge what it’s like working in the Jordanian advertising industry after only 2 weeks???????

  15. Sid Vicious Says:

    I think they meant “you are the middle finger” which in english isn’t actually an insult, whereas in arabic when u say to someone “inta zay had” and show him the middle finger or tell him “inta ba3***s” it is insulting.

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