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ABG and Mediaquest Launch LEAD Initiative

Ad Fraud

ABG and Mediaquest Launch LEAD Initiative

Partnership aims to drive change via actional insight generation on issues that matter most to the advertising & marketing sector.

In June, the Advertising Business Group (ABG) will be launching a new initiative in partnership with Dubai-based privately-owned media company Mediaquest.

Dubbed LEAD (for Learn, Engage, Activate and Drive), this year-long project reflects ABG’s core mission: to address issues related to commercial communication by creating a shared understanding of responsible advertising, increasing transparency, sharing best global practices and providing industry players with a platform to work together as one group. Indeed, since it was established in 2016, ABG has been advocating for responsible advertising standards in the GCC, aiming to be the voice of the regional communication industry and help drive change.

Powered by Mediaquest’s MENA Effie Awards, the LEAD initiative focuses on four key pillars reflecting ABG’s commitment to delivering actionable insights that will translate into measurable, meaningful progress for the GCC advertising & marketing ecosystem:

  1. Learn the latest industry best practices. Bringing in recognized experts, disruptors, and thought-leaders, LEAD means to leverage knowledge from trusted sources around the globe.
  2. Engage with key stakeholders to promote collaboration. Actively involving industry players and getting them to work together on key issues is an absolute must for any project to take off and yield effective results.
  3. Activate projects that really and measurably improve the industry. Steering clear from preaching, LEAD aims to go beyond the theory and enact change in the real world by developing an ambitious but realistic action plan.
  4. Drive the agenda. No change is possible without a driving force. Through an initiative designed around consistent and thoughtful action, ABG fully takes on its role as a vector of progress and collaboration for the GCC communication sector.

Sanjiv Kakkar, ABG Chairman, commenting on LEAD and how it fits ABG’s purpose, said, “Our vision is to make ABG a force for good and change by uniting the industry around a common purpose and higher standard via self-regulation. We aim to achieve this via LEAD by sharing best practices to deliver local insights, thus enabling the industry to make informed decisions. We could not have found a better partner to do this than Mediaquest, given our common mission to inform and educate.”

Meanwhile, Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said, “Our partnership with ABG is rooted in our shared faith in this initiative’s mission and our common will to drive positive change. We hope to bring together more stakeholders so that we can create a bigger impact.”

While it might adopt different formats in the course of the year, LEAD will kick off on June 17 with a pilot webinar tackling ad fraud and featuring Dr Augustine Fou. A New York-based independent researcher with eight years of data research on ad fraud under his sleeve, Dr Fou helps large US advertisers address this sensitive issue. Deep diving on the US market, he will share his experience and explain the root causes of ad fraud, the ways it impacts the advertising business and the potential solutions to this major global problem.

However, in line with the spirit of the initiative, this event will not simply consist in a speaker delivering a presentation. To the contrary, it will be interactive in large part. Participants will reflect on and discuss together the learnings from Dr Fou’s talk so that parallels can be drawn and key regional insights can be extracted. Interested parties will also have the opportunity to put these findings in practice through an unprecedented test campaign led by Dr Fou, thus driving the agenda further forward.

Commenting on the choice of ad fraud as the first issue to be addressed by the LEAD platform, Sanjiv Kakkar said, “This is an important topic given the millions of dollars of ad spend lost by the industry on non-human traffic that will never lead to a conversion but reduces campaign effectiveness. And with the impact of Covid-19 leading to reduced ad spends, this is more important now than ever.”

“We designed this first webinar around three pillars – content, experience, and technology – in order to deliver a highly engaging session that will fulfill our LEAD objectives,” added Victor Kiriakos, General Manager – Business at Mediaquest.

As a result, this interactive webinar should achieve LEAD’s key objectives around education, collaboration, innovation, and action. The first step in a year-long plan, it will be followed by more events that will address topics of increased relevance to our region, such as user experience online, online media measurement, un-stereotyping advertising to make it more inclusive, and responsible marketing to children.

Register for the webinar here

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