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Sun 3 Jul 2005 04:00 AM

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Campaign ME Newsletter 3rd July 2005

I’m beginning to fear that we’re all irredeemable geeks on Campaign Middle East. The evidence is there to see. If you heard our conversations about Scrabble and Sudoku (or is that just me?) you’d quite rightly run away as fast as you possibly could.

Geeks of the world unite in spirited daily debate|~||~||~|I’m beginning to fear that we’re all irredeemable geeks on Campaign Middle East. The evidence is there to see. If you heard our conversations about Scrabble and Sudoku (or is that just me?) you’d quite rightly run away as fast as you possibly could.

What with our sub editor Iain’s obsession with obscure funk and soul on seven inch vinyl, and the minutiae of our daily football discussions, things are starting to feel like a Nick Hornby novel.

But — and this is the frightening bit — the debate gets even more passionate about the news that comes in. For instance, we’ve gone audit crazy in recent weeks. You wouldn’t believe how long we spent debating the relative merits to advertisers of discounted newsstand copies versus bulk subscriptions. Or the qualities of the BPA versus the ABC. Our latest instalment on this ongoing saga is on page 5 today.

And when news came through in time for last week’s edition that Tonic had won the Middle East’s first gold in the Cannes Lions, we were genuinely delighted. It was like the boys were bringing home the world cup. As we report on page 9 today, the rest of the industry seems to agree too. Of course, we also had plenty of across-the-desk debate about just how good Tonic’s winning “Paperclip” ad is.

And then last week came the information that the UAE had crept ahead of Saudi Arabia in terms of advertising spend for the first time. Cue hours of debate about whether this means that the UAE will soon be a more important market than KSA for advertisers. We feature the story on page 3 today.

My own take on that one, by the way, is that once you take away the high levels of Dubai government spending on government-owned media, the UAE is still well behind Saudi Arabia — although if economic growth continues at the same pace then it will eventually get there. Naturally, other members of the team disagree.

With all that debate, it’s a wonder we get the magazine out every week.||**||

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