Tuesday, October 10, 2006


In the interest of transparency

Communicate recently hosted a roundtable discussion on outdoor advertising. It turned out to be quite a success: For the first time, outdoor suppliers, clients and media buyers sat together and had an open, animated discussion about what’s wrong with the industry in the UAE. As a result of our initiative, several major suppliers made a pledge to form a self-regulatory industry association to address the issues raised. You can read all about it here.

Obviously, this is a big step forward for the industry, and as much as we credit the outdoor guys for agreeing to do it, we couldn’t help feeling a little pleased with our role in bringing everybody together. We’re not saying it would never have happened without us. But it certainly wouldn’t have happened now without us. So we sent out a press release – partly to spread the news, partly to hold the outdoor guys to their word, and partly, we openly admit, to publicize what was basically a Communicate initiative.

Today we caught wind that Campaign is planning to cover the development in its next issue. Happy to hear that our friendly and esteemed competitor would be giving us coverage, our editor contacted Tim Addington, his Campaign counterpart, to ask if he would like any further information, perhaps a quote or two.

Addington e-mailed back: “Now as much as I would like to give Communicate the credit for acting as the conduit for this, I’m afraid that on this occasion I will have to pass! Sorry about that.”

Just so you know.

Twats. Can't they bring themselves to give due credit to a rival on just one occasion? Really very childish and small-penised.
Ha ha. Everyone knows Addington's hung like a highway robber. On a more serious note, I think this situation is indicative of the culture at ITP as a whole, which is a strange combination of predatory competitiveness and editorial lumpenness. Not sure if lumpenness is even a word, but it describes perfectly the utter lack of spark and originality at ITP.
Khalas. In my experience Campaign gets criticized for the wrong reasons: for not making friends (and keeping them) in the business. It's not a fair rap. If we wanted to make friends at work, we'd do something other than journalism. Relations between Communicate and its crosstown rival have always been friendly, and this little issue aside, we'd like to keep it that way. They do their job well the rest of the time.
No, I don't think Campaign gets criticized for the wrong reasons.

This is not an issue to be taken lightly. Not giving due credit is a rather shameful act.

Besides, why does this post exist if you don't think it's worth mentioning? Obviously I don't know who posted it exactly (communicatemoderator is ??)

I blogged about it (referencing your post) because I feel very strongly against stupid behavior like that.
While we're on the subject of ITP, the following item about me ran in this week's issue.

Word reaches The Spin that former editor of Communicate, Chris Wright, is winging his way back to Dubai from the US. But it appears he is having problems finding work. The word's 'bridges' and 'burnt' have cropped up on more than one occasion, apparently.

Here's my response to Tim Addington, with publisher Robert Serafin cc'd:


The stuff you printed about me in the Spin recently was untrue. I have not made any plans to return to Dubai, and I have certainly not approached anybody about a job there. I have a job here in Boston.

As tempting as it may be to run an item that's patently false (on a slow gossip day?), the editor of a magazine will know this will ultimately be self defeating. Once word gets around that the Spin is full of made-up sh*t, people will stop reading it. Do you care?

I think I know the source of this item--if I'm right, you should have known it was probably bull. In any case, you could have made a quick phone call to any one of a dozen people who know me, and who could have put you straight.


Of course, it won't make a jot of difference.
This is an interesting post and comments are amusing too.

I hope the matter got resolved finally. It should.

Apart from these things - bot Campaign and Communicate are good magazines, content-wise.

The advertising blogger
Come back, Communicate blog. We miss you...

Copywriter, journalist, advertising blogger
Funny how often someone angrily denounces a story, then it coems true isn't it? Like Chris Wright, above. For those that don't know, Campaign was right. He did indeed come back, and is working in PR in Dubai. Funny that.
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