Friday, 8 February 2008

Media ho's?

A colleague has passed on a fantastic e-mail promotion he received from Mediaquest, the parent company of Trends (formerly Arabies Trends). The email is promoting a "provocative symposium" for Gulf radio advertisers.

Provocative doesn't describe the half of it - the event is presented by Cummunicate magazine(sic). Just what kind of magazine-buying spree has Mediaquest been on? We know they've bought Gulf Marketing Review and the magazines from Gray Business Communications, but are they also branching out into the Debbie Does Dallas market?

(PS one of the symposium presenters is Dr Richard Gross. Dick anyone?)

19 comments:

Roger said...

And knowing that "gros" in French is big/fat, Richard Gross becomes a magnet for fnar fnar fnar jokes.

Cummunications --- the language of luuurve

Anonymous said...

Trends is looking for a copy editor, but the pay doesn't look that great. $30,000 a year. Anyone have any experience working there? Communicate used to be pretty funny, but it's dull these days, and I have to admit, I don't think I've ever seen, never mind read, a copy of Arabies Trends.

Anonymous said...

I used to work there. It's actually one of the best magazine companies in Dubai as far as freedom to write what you want and publishers that back you up. Resources, on the other hand, were spread too thin -- this post as clear evidence.

chris said...

- the event is presented by Cummunicate magazine(sic).

So,this is the cream of Dubai media? God help us.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Trends is a total joke. I've even read it too and was wholly disappointed especially as a 'real' journalist (basically I'm employed by an American publication that has one of the top revenues in the business). It's basically an advertising rag with no actual content. Makes you mad because they could do a lot with it considering that there are no legit publications that are Middle Eastern. The West does a better job at digging up the region's news and it shouldn't be that way.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I find this story a little hard to swallow.

Anonymous said...

As a 'real' journalists, anonymous, you should be aware that good prose limits itself to a single totally/basically per sentence.

Anonymous said...

'Anonymous 14:42'

Does that mean us 'unreal journalists' will not appreciate Trends' shortcomings? Trends was actually getting somewhere last year when AC was in charge, unfortunately the publisher (like so may in this town) shunned initiative and creativity. So what's this American rag then? I'm guessing the supremely awful Reader's Digest? Basically.

AC said...

Anon 14:42: For your info, everyone working on Trends is a "real" journalist. In terms of experience, attitude and understanding of reporting they could write rings around you, I'd bet. I may not be too taken with the current direction (a bit "generic businessy" for my taste), but Trends is the only local mag that, for example, takes a consistently cynical line on the economics of this place, and, after the company adjusts after its current growth spurt (oh, how apt!), will hopefully start delivering the strong scoops again.

Anon 21:25: The publisher was always pretty ballsy about tough stories, and stood up for us, too, so no complaints there from me.

AC

Anonymous said...

"Trends was actually getting somewhere last year when AC was in charge"

Bwahahahaha!

Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh.

As for Cummunicate, would it be cruel to point out that this was the publication that couldn't spell 'advertising' on its own advertising?

Yes, it probably would.

Anonymous said...

I think that perhaps the "generic business" tone of Trends comes from the fact that the current managing editor is also the CEO of the publishing company, Mediaquest. Certainly this is a conflict of interest content-wise, and may be the cause of some recent pieces which seem more like free advertising than journalism. (Recent articles cover folks that buy a lot of ads in Trends. Coincidence?)

As for the buying spree, an acquaintance with connections to the mag says they are indeed overtaxing their resources. Though they may mean well, from what this person tells me, it sounds like Mediaquest is going the way of most of DMC, where greed means juicing employees with increasingly elaborate ambitions without providing adequate framework for maintaining quality. But no one reads it anyway, right?

Anonymous said...

so will Communicate and Gulf Marketing Review merge? or will they stay separate?

adam said...

To anon @ 21:53

Actually, I think it was "resource" we couldn't spell. "Advrtising" is easy.

Anonymous said...

Give it time. Trends and Communicate still have some of the smartest folks in Dubai working on them. But they can't do it alone. The publishers will figure that out eventually and they will hire more folks.

Anonymous said...

Give it time? Hasn't the mag been around for like 6 years? Seems like long enough...unless bad management means high turnover, and these smart people don't stick around long enough to make any permanent improvements.

Anonymous said...

Basically, I am totally sick of the total, basic advertorial erections (how apt!) that besmirch the otherwise immaculate reputations of 'real' journalists like me ... {disappears up own ass}.

mediaquest insider said...

By February-end all save one staff member engaged full time on Trends will have left. Piss-poor salaries, zero bonuses, zero increases, overwork, wafer-thin resources, a zoo of an office environment, no annual plane tickets and the fact that you may take leave once a year only and all at once are the reasons. Oh, and no coffee machine.

But "real" journalists are professionals and don't care about such things, right?

Anonymous said...

No coffee machine? Leave now.

Anonymous said...

I hear Trends finally got a managing editor...anyone know how that's going?