Advertising Industry in Shock – MPL First to Go!

Guest Post by Naeem Pani Wala

In my last two columns, I discussed the worsening situation of advertising industry in Pakistan which is facing financial crises after years of Musharraf regime’s stability. So what I had been warning was, is now turning into reality now with two early shocks as MPL’s closure and PTV’s financial crises. Let’s discussed them one by one..!

In one of the worst situation in our advertising industry after a decade or so, 6 companies including the big name, Manhattan Private Limited has packed their business due to financial crises according to the sources. 3 companies of Karachi, one from Lahore and one from Peshawar were declared defaulters and closed their respective offices.

As these were small companies so there is, I think no need to discuss them here; however, MPL was a big company and will leave its impact on the job market. The big names like Khadim Hussain and Bilgrami from MPL are in search for jobs these days; I wonder what situation the little staff would be in?

It was understood that MPL would not be in the long race as Col. Aazaz was packing for Canada for the last 6 months or so. Story was actually concluded last week, when APNS suspended MPL for not paying the bills to newspapers with in stipulated period. After record success in the business for the last 15 years or so, it was sad to note a big company like MPL was disappearing from Islamabad. So much talk is there, so much tittle-tattle about this move, but the reality is that MPL is no more in business.

MPL team was shrinking with the passage of time, for example, last month they had dismissed their 26 employees with out any notice. One of those dismissed resource wrote me a letter to disclose some of the company’s secrets. Owner of the company had transferred over Rs. 50 corore aboard in the last 2 years to establish himself at the new destination. Sources closed to the colonel believed that his son Mr. Salman was not interested in the advertising business so he decided to move from Pakistan with all of his assets.

Though MPL maintained very good record of the business and was ranked one of the best advertising agencies in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, but the end is not good. MPL was the only agency in Pakistan that pays salaries on 1st date of every month. The company has the credit as strongest player, which has the clients from commercial to corporate in Pakistan. At one time even they had Mobilink at their credit.

As advertising professional, I pray for the success of Colonel Aazaz and his family in Canada.

Now come to another point, PTV which is receiving 25 billion rupee annually through tax from the general public is facing financial crises as 4 big advertising companies were not able to clear the dues of more then 2 billion.
While on the other hands, it is widely believed that PTV has no right to receive Rs. 25 from every house (these Rs. 25 comes with electricity bill) as we all are already paying for cable and watching our favourite channels. So why pay to PTV and for what? Think about it and write a letter to SC for necessary action. I hope that you will do it as a responsible citizen of Pakistan. Other wise keep paying Rs. 25 every month to PTV with out any faltering.

Like PTCL, PTV is also is a white elephant for the general public. If we stopped the payment then it may not be possible for this national channel to survive. If you want to know more please ready “Meray Mutabik in daily Jang Sunday 30th November 2008.

I am really very proud of your support at this forum. If you want to share anything, feel free to contact me via “Contact Us” page on ProPakistani.com

We will meet next week, Inshallah

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Salome Khan

    Wow, this is certainly a shock! the closure of an agency as big as MPL inadvertently means that companies are spending less on advertising in this recession and hence there is less market share for the advertisers even if it seems like there’s a billboard on every street corner.

    Let’s see how ‘bigger’ ad agencies such as Ogilvy, Interflow and Lowe & Rauf fair…

  • Ahsan

    It seems that MPL has gone because of lack of interest on the part of owner to run the company. You have mentioned that he transferred more than 50 carore abroad, and that his son is not interested in the business.

  • shahi

    I heard all story about MPL. Most are employees were working in MPL for last 15 years. Col Aizaz throw them out without any graduity and salary. How these employee can survive in life.

  • yasir

    COn aizaz sold MPL to malik Deen…And he shifted to canada…His SOn Suleman Aizaz opened MCL(Manhattan Communication Limited) here in Islamabad…I had worked in MCL as Internee in the month of july 2009…Now the latest news is that 1 week before Malik Deen owner of MPL sold his agency…I dnt know who bought MPL….

  • Farhan Ahmad

    i worked with MPL for a couple of months back in 2006. As you mentioned “MPL was the only agency in Pakistan that pays salaries on 1st date of every month.” its wrong. At least with me dont know about the others. they blocked my salary of two months and thats the reason of my resign from MPL. I have to come to MPL 4-5 times to claim it after leavng MPL. At last they paid it to me but still not the full amount.