Managing Director at Cranmore Digital Consulting Ltd
17 November 2011 12:35pm
I am working on some digital marketing for a Saudi audience. Can anyone direct me to a good source of advice for things like rules around imagery, legal requirements for data protection, general business practice advice?
Lecturer & Consultant in E-Commerce and Digital Strategy at KFUPM
22 December 2011 22:09pm
Digital marketing/publishing in Saudi Arabia is an interesting game. Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest growing Internet penetration numbers (46%+) in the region and also one of the strictest Internet regulations.
Unfortunately you will not find many legal guidelines or resources that one can use as a guideline for web imagery or content. Saudi Arabia is a very conservative society where all websites are accessed through a national regulated service. So it is always better to practice caution. Images that are against the cultural norms maybe reported to CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission). CITC would immediately ban the site from being accessed by anyone whose IP address originated from Saudi Arabia. Early this year the Kingdom announced a web publishing law http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article228424.ece - this maybe of interest.
On a slightly different (yet related) subject, faces on outdoor posters and billboards are quite often pixilated. This is due to a strict interpretation of Islam that forbids the creation of images such as sculptures, paintings, and even photographs, magazines are handled quite differently. One of the best things you can do is to keep your content bilingual or at least in Arabic.
I have been teaching and consulting on Internet strategies and E-Commerce in Saudi Arabia since 2000. There are plenty of opportunities in the Kingdom when it comes to Digital Marketing/Publishing; one just needs to understand the market laws and regulations.
I hope this has been helpful. I am going to share some links from my E-Commerce in Saudi Arabia lecture.
Links of Interest:
• Communications and Information Technology Commission – http://www.citc.gov.sa
• Government Internet Portal http://www.internet.gov.sa
• Saudi Arabian E-Government Portal http://Saudi.gov.sa
• Saudi Domain Registrar http://www.saudinic.net.sa (the most to date site, with lots of Saudi Arabian e-stats
Best of luck!
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