DUBAI // The architect of the Middle East's media and advertising industries was remembered yesterday at the Dubai Lynx awards ceremony for advertising agencies. Antoine Choueiri, the founder of the Choueiri Group, died in last week in Beirut. He was 70. The Choueiri Group is the broker for many of the largest media properties in the region, including the MBC Group and Dubai Media Incorporated.
Joseph Ghossoub, the chairman and chief executive of Menacom Group, began the evening with a tribute, calling Mr Choueiri a "colossus" and a "visionary." "Antoine left an imprint on everything he touched, from television to print to outdoor," he said. "Nothing stood in the way of his ambition." Agencies lauded at the awards included JWT, which won the Network of the Year Award, while Memac Ogilvy and Mather Dubai brought home the Agency of the Year title and Starcom Mediavest Group Dubai won the Media Agency of the Year.
The honours were given before a crowd of 1,300 advertising industry professionals, following a four-day advertising festival that saw the three-year-old industry institution finally come into its own, said Philip Thomas, the chief executive of Dubai Lynx. "In 2010, the Dubai Lynx festival has finally come of age with a bang," he said, noting that the number of delegates jumped from 600 last year to 1,200 this year after entry prices were made more affordable.
After several awards given last year had to be recalled due to concerns about their authenticity and cultural sensitivity, the regulations for entry were tightened this year. Leo Burnett Cairo won the Grand Prix in the TV/Cinema category for its work for Melody Entertainment, while Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor category for its work for the Dubai Metro. JWT Dubai won the gold prize in the Craft: Print category for its work for Aldar.
Ramzi Raad, the chairman and chief executive of TBWARAAD Middle East, had already been honoured with this year's Advertising Person of the Year Award and Saudi Telecom Company with the Advertiser of the Year Award. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org