L’Expression: Nationale – New “crash” at Air Algérie

One scandal hides another! On Tuesday, Air Algérie finished the duties of its marketing director, Nahla Ben Belkacem. You will say that this is a completely normal step in the life of a company. Why then talk about it in the columns of a newspaper? Simply because this dismissal comes after a serious professional misconduct that has affected the very image of the country. Let’s go back to the facts, you will understand … A few days ago the national airline was promoting the destination Tlemcen, recalling that there were two flights a week from Algiers, during the month of Ramadan. Except that the capital of Zianides is presented to you as a Moroccan city. Very serious! All the more so as this unforgivable strangeness is part of a political context that is among the most tense between the two countries. Worse still, no one in this marketing department has noticed this mistake, which is obvious. The post remained for most of the day, before being removed after social media went viral. The Algerian internet users have, in fact, strongly denounced this error, making the country’s high authorities return. The western neighbor’s blogosphere did not miss the opportunity. The Makhzen and his relays drowned the Moroccan network of screen sensors in this post to fall back into its usual disappointments by wanting to make the “African Grenada” city at the base Moroccan. An old broken record to which Algerian and Moroccan citizens no longer pay attention. But then Air Algérie’s marketing department started promoting it. Something that reached the ears of the President of the Republic, Abdelmajid Tebboune. He then ordered that the heads of those responsible for this masquerade fall, before other more severe measures are taken, because, as we said at the beginning of the article, this infamy hides another much worse! Following this error, it was decided to terminate the contract of the company that manages the social networks of the aviation flagship. Surprise, it’s a foreign agency. Indeed, this scandal teaches us that it was the French communication box, Havas, that won this juicy contract through its Algerian subsidiary, GanFood, which it bought in 2017. Sure, it’s a company under Algerian law but owned by the empire of an old acquaintance of Algeria, in this case Vincent Bolloré, the same man who collaborated with Eric Zemmour during the French presidential campaign to attack Algeria, of which they made it their favorite subject. We therefore have to ask ourselves how this com agency, which transfers part of its profits out of our territory, managed to win such a contract? Was there a call for tenders? What are the criteria used, knowing that Havas is certainly a world leader but far from such in the Algerian market. There are dozens of “100% made in bladi” agencies that have better credentials in this industry, especially in digital marketing. So how did they overcome them? Knowing that Air Algérie is a national public company of a country where the head of state insists on local consumption. Be it products or services, President Tebboune has ordered to favor all that is local. He is not joking on this point. We recall that last summer the Minister of Transport and the CEO of the same company were fired for having imported tools from Tunisia when they were manufactured in the country. Following this case, the former CEO of Air Algérie was sentenced to two years in prison, one of which was suspended and a fine of 500,000 DA. How can Air Algérie commit such an oddity? Furthermore, one wonders how a company the size of Air Algerie can “outsource” the management of its social networks, which have become a sensitive point for any company in the world. So what is the marketing department for? Why not use internal resources or, in the worst case, recruit “community managers”. Isn’t that what is missing in Algeria, are there also very competent people just waiting to work? Let’s take a little trip to the other big companies of the world to find out what digital strategy they have adopted? Well, it’s no surprise that most run their RS like Air France which has its own digital marketing department. Are we smarter? One thing is certain: this new Air Algérie scandal will have made it possible to reveal the underside of an aberration …

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