UAE Audience Measurement Committee Kick Off

Led by:

Asad Rehman @Unilever

Attended by:

Pierre Choueiri & Walid Yared @Choueiri Group Elda Choucair & Wissam Najjar @OMD

Naheel Abdelall & Alini @Beiersdorf Ibrahim Kadiri & Pierric Duthoit @Google Ravi Rao @GroupM

Omar Katerji @Ferrero

Shadi Kandil @MBWW (part of MCN Media Brands) Sofianne Haddadi @LÓreal

Tarek Daouk @DentsuAegis TJ Lightwala @Accenture

Objectives and Context:

The objective of the meeting was to align the industry, represented by Clients, Media Owners and Platforms, and Agencies, on the need and the scope of the project. The meeting was held to discuss the one pager shared with the committee earlier to set the context and scope. Attached with these minutes is also the deck that was shared to drive the discussion around the table. There was complete alignment on the fact that such a measurement system is not only needed but will give the advertising and media industry in UAE a much-required boost.

It was clarified upfront that this group will focus on the project in UAE. There is a parallel representation from industry stakeholders at the KSA measurement project which this group will not touch upon. It was also agreed that whilst we will seek synergies with the KSA project, it is not the intention to make the UAE work dependent on KSA at all.

Discussion on the Scope of the Project:

There was a reflection in the room on attempts at carrying out such projects in the past specially amongst key stakeholders who have been part of such attempts like Elda Choucair and Pierre Choueiri. It was seen important to ask ourselves the question of “What can be the key barriers in putting such measures in place, and what do we need to do to resolve those?”.

The members discussed that a few factors that have hindered progress of such projects in the past have been:

  • Lack of ownership and consensus across the industry
  • A not-so-organized approach at Government collaboration
  • Provision of a proper business case and funding to carry out such a project.

It was also a consensus in the room that for the entire industry to have equal trust in such measures, a transparent and credible third-party audit of the process as well as measurement methods is crucial. It was also agreed that for the purpose of the UAE measurement, a private-sector-only led and owned route will be ideal, and that there is no need for an active collaboration with the Government, except perhaps on the need to align on topics such as Data Regulations.

It was also felt that the most important step in the process will be to resolve and agree on a funding mechanism for carrying out the project as well as to put in place an ongoing measurement system.

It was also agreed that we should do a “market maturity assessment” to agree on the level of sophistication needed for such measurement. The general sense in the room was that UAE’s media landscape demands a world-class system and the ambition should not be any less than that.

Next Steps and Workstreams:

After lengthy deliberation on the proposed scope in the room, it was agreed that we will break the scope of the project into four work-stream.

  1. Learn from other markets: It was felt that with all the work WFA have put in coming up with standards for cross media measurement across the world, the objective should be to learn from markets that are working on implementing that framework. Reference was made to the work being done in the UK by ISBA. It was agreed that this work will be led by the following sub-group:
    1. Ibrahim Kadiri, Google
    1. Asad Rehman, Unilever.
  2. Affiliates Bodies Work: It was felt that there are certain elements of the project that do not entirely have to sit within the scope this core committee and can be worked upon by collaboration with various other Industry Bodies like the IAB. Reference was made to work being done by IAB on the sizing of the industry spends, as well as the work on “Viewability”. It was agreed that a small group of people will bring the work of those bodies close to the ABG and will work at making sure our collective input gets fed into those projects. This component of work will be led by the sub-group consisting of:
    • Elda Choucair of OMD
    • Walid Yared of the Choueiri Group
    • Sofiane Haddadi of LÓreal
  3. Case Studies or Existing Researches to Build Collective Knowledge: It was felt that there are numerous isolated pieces of researches that have been done in the region, and that this project will benefit from the knowledge those researches build. It was agreed that this piece of work will be led by:
    • TJ Lightwala of Accenture Interactive
  4. Cross Channel Measurement: The core job of formulating a project and funding plan lies into this workstream. It was agreed that a small group of people with expertise and experience in such projects should shape-up a detailed proposal and bring it to the larger group for feedback and inputs. It was also discussed that a few people who have been exposed to the work done in KSA can bring in learnings as well as synergies to this workstream. This sub-group will consist of:
    • Shadi Kandil of MCN Media brands.
    • Ravi Rao of GroupM
    • Ibrahim Kadiri of Google
    • Omar Katerji of Ferrero
    • Walid Yared of Choueiri Group
    • Asad Rehman of Unilever

It was agreed that this committee will reconvene to review the outputs from each workstream in 4 to 6 weeks’ time.


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