The Story of Us

    The Journey of the Sun

    ACG (Aftabnet Communication Group), is an ensemble of leader and pioneer companies in the marketing communication, advertising and media industry of Iran. The core of this group was established in 1999 when due to the policy changes in National television about privatization of TV commercials, Co-founders Reza Haddad and Maziyar Habibiniya chose to alter their partnership from television productions to advertising and pursue their mutual passionate dream of generating and selling innovative and creative communication ideas. Hence, they founded “Aftab Co. Advertising Agency“.

    Very soon and with the support of wonderful group of clients , trust and confidence they generously invested; that enthusiastic and passionate core, grew strong and became a young groundbreaking ad agency who surprised the entire industry by standing among the top 5 agencies, ranked by the volume of annual advertising distribution in Iran. This powerful performance opened many other new doors and aided the agency to take a stand in the Media industry as well. This was the year of 2002, the very same year that “Ayeneh Aftab Media Agency” was founded.

    Right after that successful year, Aftabnet became the very first and only Iranian and the 2nd Asian company who was granted with the membership of the reputable international association of “egta“, the European association of television and radio sales houses; and continued growing and expanding with the research department and modern media planning tools and techniques for television.

    This steady development led the company to the point that other than the Ad Agency and the Media House, a professional and creative Production House was essential for the group to be able to walk strong in the line of sustainable development and towards the vision of the company. So, “Aftab Production House” was established in 2006 with the advanced and state of the art equipment and made Aftabnet, one of the most sophisticated groups in the full service advertising industry of Iran. With the added engine of the production house, the golden years of the group started and Aftabnet group took over the top rank of the advertising agencies in Iran for the first time, a rank that up until this day, remains for the group.

    2010 was the year that economic crisis of past years, had affected local Iranian businesses. So the group took a more diverse approach to the media and with the objective of supporting the clients in the time of financial crisis, group decided to empower the potentials of some of the forgotten Media like Radio and Transit Media (bus body and metro wagons). Through greatly developing these kinds of more affordable Media,  Aftabnet was able to help and accompany the clients to keep their communication lines open and effective with their desired target audiences. By this time, Aftabnet was the leader of the advertising industry of Iran, and it was the time for the board to pursue their visions through other horizons and enter the world of the new media development and content development. Hence, “Tasvir Aftab” an Institute of Art and Culture was added to the group to manage cultural business sides and accordingly, “Aftabnet Monthly Magazine and Aftab Theater Company were born.

    And finally in 2015, after 8 successful years of being the leader of the industry, the board decided to elevate the group to the international levels. By establishing the company named “Iranians’ Media House” in collaboration and partnership with another prevailing media owner; and empowering the Aftab co. Ad Agency with Digital Communications, Public Relations and International Business Development departments; ACG or the “Aftabnet Communication Group” stepped into the new era; to stand by the Iranian brands and local businesses in their international developments and to welcome international and foreign clients and accompany them in the process they need to go through for entering the Iranian Markets.


    Reza Haddad
    Co-Founder and Group CEO
    Maziyar Habibiniya
    Co-Founder and Group Chairman



    The Big Bang, the day Aftab was born !

    Due to the policy changes in National television about privatization of TV commercials, Co-founders Reza Haddad and Maziyar Habibiniya chose to alter their partnership from television productions to advertising and pursue their mutual passionate dream of generating and selling innovative and creative communication ideas. That was the "Big Bang", that was the day Aftab Advertising Agency was established as the core of what is ACG today.


    Young, But Standing Among Top Players

    2 years after "Aftab" was established, the company became an official member of the IRIB consortium for selling commercial spots in Iran television, channel 5. In that very same year and based on the amount of airing time and contracts, Aftab Co. Advertising Company ranked 5th among the top industry players and between all the other companies in the country.


    Breaking Through The Traditions

    2002 was the year that Aftabnet started breaking through the traditional approach towards media. First, Ayeneh Aftab Media Agency was established to shape the media experience into a modern professional Media Agency; then, at the very same year, Aftabnet became the only Iranian Company ever to join "egta" associations, to explore and absorb the modern media strategies.


    Exploring The Other Side Of The Moon !

    In 2004 and after stabilizing the business, it was the time for exploring fresh approaches and tracing new communication methods. Because communication is a live, active and dynamic industry, and in order to keep up with the growth of it, one needs to have a certain knowledge and to know "what else is possible". Hence, Aftabnet started sending different teams to meet with the international and reputable agencies around the world and exchange notes; agencies like "Ogilvy" in Brussels, "Euro RSCG" in Istanbul and "Y&R" in Dubai.


    . . . and ACTION !

    All through the years and beyond growing the business, Aftabnet has always been developed when clients needed more powerful tools and gears for their marketing communications. At that point in 2006, the national television of Iran had been develop and became a powerful Media for Iranian local brand and companies. But the quality of the commercials couldn't keep up with the Media. Therefore, Aftabnet invested in a new line of business integrated with the communication services of course. in 2006 the Aftab Production Company was established and grew very fast to be the one of the top production companies in the advertising and commercial sector.


    Power, Brings Responsibility

    At this stage, the group was grown strong and became a powerful company for marketing communication services. In 2008 close to 100 accounts from different sectors were open in the group and several competitors from same industries were requiring somehow similar services because they believed Aftabnet was the strongest candidate for them. It is wonderful when many reputable companies need to have you on their projects; it shows trust and credibility, and such confident empowers any agency. But in respect to that trust, the board decided that a change was necessary because there is a belief in Aftabent which is "Power brings responsibility". Therefore, in the summer of 2008 Aftabnet launched a new organizational structure, where each client could have a whole individual team from account management to creative and media, in order to fully secure their interests within the group.


    Turn On The Radio !

    In 2009, the financial economic crisis in 2008 and other political issues had already reached to the Iranian markets. Local brands and companies had difficulties financing their marketing activities and most of them chose to stop their communications with their consumers and target groups. There, Aftabnet with commitment it always has towards both sides of the market (brands and consumers) came up with an idea which was able to overcome all the difficulties and presented an efficient solution for advertisers to be able to keep their communication lines open with their desired audiences. So at the beginning of the year 2009; Aftabnet started to work on the Radio which by that time was not properly developed to its potential as a media, and turned it in to a powerful yet affordable communication tool for the companies to run their commercials in those days of financial complications.


    Reaching Out To The Whole Country Through A Magic Box

    Because of the very good experience that all the stake holders (Advertisers and IRIB as the only broadcasting media owner in Iran) had with the development of the Radio as a Media with good commercial capabilities; in the year 2011 Aftabnet was selected to develop the commercial aspects of the provincial TV channels which by that time, were reached to a proper airing and broadcasting infrastructures and standards. This action enabled Iranian advertisers to reach and communicate with their consumers all around the country.


    Aftab Radiates To The "Out Of Home" !

    In 2012, once again and to developed when and where the clients need more powerful tools and gears for their marketing communications, the board of ACG decided to deploy their know-how and media experience into a new area which had proper and reliable infrastructures by that time. So ACG expanded its service domain to the outdoor media as well and very soon, based on the municipalities of Tehran grading (as the OOH media owner of the city), became the grade one media house for the this media platform.


    Expanding The Advertising To The Underground !

    Tehran Subway transportation currently has the average of 1,900 million daily passengers and has been the largest public transportation service in Tehran for 3 years now; ACG predicted this in 2012. Therefore and to help clients to have a comprehensive communications with their target groups, Aftabnet group expanded its media services into the metro wagons as well and developed the advertising elements of that medium to the extent of their potentials.


    Going Through The Heart Of the City, By Bus !

    In a metropolis like Tehran with an area around 700 Square kilometer, reaching the 12 million people from all the districts and SEC(s) was not easy back in 2013; not only because the city was not equipped with enough outdoor billboards, but also because of the outdoor media consumption habits and the quality of engagement that citizens had with this medium. Therefore and in order to provide the advertisers with the best outdoor reach and coverage, Aftabnet group decided to enrich the medium with developing the bus body advertising platform and by doing so, now it can be said that brands can reach the heart of this huge city all the way, from up north to the south and from east side to the west.


    Passions, Do Come To Life . . .

    Art and culture has always been a passion for ACG founders, who both have cultural and artistic high level academic backgrounds. This passion and commitment to promote and deepen the culture among the different communities was the reason they decided to add another entity to the group in 2013; to manage many other cultural business sides for Aftabnet and present more intellectual insights to the society through art, theater, and literature.


    Auscultating The Heart Of The Market

    Media monitoring and measurements has always been a complicated matter in Iran. Not having advanced infrastructure and tools usually convince companies to leave this part out of their services. But for the clients, this means not knowing if the right people are being reached and engaged with their brand communication plans. Therefore in 2014, to access more accurate data and effectively plan for the communications of the clients, Aftabnet research department joined forces with University of Tehran, one of the most reputable academic entities of the country; to solve the problem. The result was a sophisticated and comprehensive research about the "media consumption habits in Tehran". It made a huge difference in the media planning process and that is why, it has been decided to renew that survey each year.


    Creating New Possibilities

    After the positive changes in the world and after everyone decided to replace threat with fair and just communications, the negotiations between Iran and 5+1 had major breakthrough in the April 2015. This was an essential milestone in the history of the communication industry of Iran; because for the first time after 35 years, Iran could have open borders for business. So in the spring of 2015 Aftabnet group added a new department to its structure for International Business Development; to support Iranian brands and companies to expand their business outside of Iran, and of course to assist international companies to develop their business into Iranian markets. The group also reshaped its organizational development plans and directions to create new possibilities, for the clients, the industry and for itself.


    Altering The Media Power

    In the summer of 2015 and in pursue of an old idea, Aftabnet joined forces with few powerful media sales houses and added another entity to the group named the "Iranians' Media House" which with combining the media power of the members, instantly became the largest and strongest media sales house in the country in the broadcasting, outdoor and transit media sectors of the country.