Industry Spotlight: Advertising & Marketing

By Kriyana Reddy, Research Associate

Over 60 percent of Iran’s approximately 80 million people are under the age of 30. Since this is the preferred demographic for marketing, it is no surprise that international and local brands alike are competing to reach untapped markets among the nation’s growing youth.  Indeed, the advertising industry in Iran has already grown into a 600-million-dollar giant. Moreover, since Iran has the largest internet and smartphone penetration rate in the Middle East, “Advertising Technology” (AdTech) now plays a major role in modernizing marketing and advertising strategies in the previously economically isolated nation.

Take, for instance, Adro, the first-ever ad exchange in Iran (a technology platform that moderates the exchange of media advertising inventory between ad networks). In just one year, Adro reached a record-setting 50 billion ad impressions. While Adro connects 16 Iranian and international ad networks and exchanges, some 37 percent of Adro’s traffic goes to foreign advertisers attempting to penetrate Iranian markets. In large part due to this foreign interest in Iran, the exchange has experienced an average growth rate of 25 percent per month in terms of the number of impressions.

One foreign firm that is trying to capitalize on Iran’s appetite for Western Brands is Carrefour, a French supermarket behemoth, which has seen great success in Tehran since it opened its first supermarket there six years ago. Iranian ad recruitment websites also indicate that companies like Unilever, Danone, and Bayer all have interest in scaling up their Iranian marketing campaigns.

Some Iranian marketing and ad firms offer incentives for foreign companies. London-based Wire and Plastic Products plc (WPP) the world’s largest communications services group, recently signed an agreement with PPG, the leader in digital marketing in Iran, to give its clients near-exclusive access to the best marketing channels in Iran. PPG employs over 200 people and coordinates content generation, data collection, and marketing consultancy in a nation that serves over 6 billion ad impressions per month. These figures, combined with low levels of consumer debt and a per capita GDP greater than those in many other emerging markets, make the Iranian advertising industry a promising space for foreign investors and companies.

Below is information about an upcoming conference in Tehran, Iran, that looks to connect domestic and foreign companies to opportunities in the advertising and marketing industries in Iran. 


The 13th International Exhibition of Advertising, Marketing, and Related Industries



Tehran International Permanent Fairground – Tehran, Iran



January 4–7, 2017


Additional Details:

The conference is free of charge. More information on the event can be found here.

If you have an interest in attending, please reach out to for more details.