"Past falcons and pearls"

Yesterday's Dubai Lynx debate on the advantages of consolidated regional hubs versus a scattered network of satellite offices did not do much to settle the issue, but it did give a forum for some frank talk about the current state of advertising in the UAE.

One of the highlights were the pleas of Peter Vegas, the creative director of Impact BBDO's Abu Dhabi office, for the industry to please, please, please stop making ads featuring a man in a kandura shaking hands with another guy in suit. Also: no more guys in kanduras staring off into the distance. Seriously.

"What's he thinking of?" Vegas said, holding up an offending example. "I'm thinking money."

To be fair, this is just the result of a young advertising market that has not yet found its voice in the way that Lebanon and Egypt have, all the panelists agreed.

"Advertising does not lead a culture," Vegas said. "All it does is mimic the voice of the culture. You feed feed on the stuff that is happening. The idea of what is happening in the UAE market and in Doha is still quite new. In advertising terms, it's finding its voice. But also as a country, the UAE is still trying to find its voice and how it fits on a world stage, and how do we get past falcons and pearls."

For a hint at what the Dubai Lynx judges thought found its voice this year, here are the shortlists. Interestingly, the UAE's advertising agencies dominate the lists in just about every category outside of TV / Cinema and Integrates. Awards will be given tonight.

TV / Cinema

Print Short

Outdoor

Radio

Interactive

Direct Sales and Promotion

Media

Craft

The Integrated list not yet posted on the Lynx website, but Campaign magazine has the goods.

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