Middle East Eye – 9th March 2018
Advertising experts say the charm offensive will have cost Saudi Arabia a tidy seven-figure sum for the billboards and the brains behind them. They would have paid the same rates as those of major corporate brands for the three-day blitz, with some estimating more than $1m has been spent.
When asked for his best guess, British PR agent Mark Borkowski said: “A lot of money… an-eye watering amount of money. The people I think are involved – they don’t come cheap.”
Whatever ones position on Saudi, the bigger issue may be the expectations that such a massive campaign sets up, said Borkowski.
“When you engaged in this type of PR, you can’t just switch it off. You are now running a marathon every day of visibility and you are in the public domain,” he said.
“It is now on the radar and commentators like me and other people will be very interested to find out what is the next stage on this.
“Of course if the rather interesting modernisations going on stalls, stops, isn’t successful, then that is going to be very difficult for a PR company to contain.”