keeping an eye on the Kingdom's PR
Nature of Business: Advertising
36 Golden Square, Soho
London W1F 9EE (map)
|Fees and Expenses: $15,226,380|
Relationship with Bahrain Government
M&C Saatchi has worked for the Bahraini government for several years and set up shop in Bahrain in 2008. Most notably it was awarded a $12 million advertising contract by Bahrain's Economic Development Board in April 2008 that resulted in the "Business Friendly Bahrain" campaign.
Around the same time that the Arab Spring protests began in Bahrain in February 2011, M&C Saatchi was awarded a contract by the Bahrain International Circuit to advertise the 2011 Formula 1 race (though it is likely to have applied for the tendered contract well before Feb 2011). This contract was worth US$ 130,000, according to official tender documents, though it is not clear what eventually happened as the race ended up being cancelled due to the unrest.
In July 2011, M&C Saatchi was awarded a five-year contract worth BD 5.5 million (US$ 14,575,000) by the Economic Development Board to "develop and implement a comprehensive media and promotional plan" for Bahrain.
Then again in November 2011, the Ministry of Culture hired M&C Saatchi to plan and implement a tourism campaign for Bahrain in a contract worth BD 196,747 (US$ 521,380). It is probably under this contract that these two TV commercials were commissioned, to be played on CNN and at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Fees and Expenses
$15,226,380 for the three contracts awarded after the government crackdown on protests of Feb 2011
Date of Hiring
Ongoing since 2008. New contracts awarded in February, July and November of 2011
- David Glass, CEO of M&C Saatchi's Bahrain office
- Gulf Daily News: Adverts push in top gear, April 1, 2008