By Mohamed Sami
The E-Marketing Academy called on the digital marketing industry to put a legislative framework into effect to organise the industry’s work and limit tech-giant Google’s reach.
Some experts supported this move to limit Google’s expansion, and because of the fear that the company would manipulate digital advertising activities. Other experts, however, were against this, saying that the Egyptian market’s is weak compared to Google’s international activities.
Yehia Tharwat, CEO of e-commerce company Link Egypt sees that this as an unnecessary step. Tharwat notes that Google Egypt is one of the biggest e- and digital marketing companies in the country, on which more than 1bn commercial activities in Egypt depend . Moreover, Google Egypt offers great facilities for creating and publishing advertisements.
Tharwat added that Google’s position attracted many users to its service. As a result Google has now dominated the international and national markets, since the cost of digital advertisement is low compared to Egyptian websites that ask for very high prices. This bears in mind the difference in providing marketing services.
It is important to develop commercial e-tools and provide an integrated programme to help institutions improve so that they can offer more modern and developed methods. These will help small and medium-sized commercial activities, instead of monitoring international companies.
Yehia clarified that issuing digital market legislation can happen in the presence of a strong alternative which could create a competitive atmosphere.
Speculating on the legislations, Hussein Omran, former first under-secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, added that these legislations should be in line with the Egyptian culture and market.
Omran highlighted that a big company like Google conducts extensive research before entering any market and puts into consideration potential barriers. The company’s research also covers market-specific legislations that could put obstacles on its operations in these markets. If it leads to any loss, it will only be for the consumer, who is considered one of the electronic companies’ pillars.
Sherif Qureshi, CEO of electronic marketing firm QHAT, said that Google’s monopoly on digital marketing is global rather than Egypt-specific. He added that no company in Egypt currently shares Google’s high technological capacity, especially when it comes to the professional fulfilment of user satisfaction. He also highlighted that Google offers services for all international markets, which requires competition from all Egyptian companies to offer service for local consumers.
Concerning the legislative part, Qureshi suggested that there should be laws monitoring electronic operations, limiting financial treatments and protecting the consumer, advertiser, and prices.
Qureshi stated that Google’s activity on the Egyptian market is considered small compared to other markets. This pushes the company to change its policies that manage the Egyptian market and review the digital advertising budget in case legislations were issued and led to investment losses.