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2014-09-16 13:17

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2014-09-10 17:53

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2014-09-09 13:57

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2014-08-14 17:18

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2014-08-07 15:20

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2014-08-04 23:46


More from Communicate


Monty Python, data and the Holy Grail of marketing

  You have probably heard it many times already, haven’t you? Data — big or small — is the new “Holy Grail of modern marketing”.  When it comes to programmatic trading of advertising inventory, data — in a similar fashion to Jerusalem for the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam – sits at the epicenter [...]

2014-09-19 20:24

Beirut Art Fair to kick off on September 18

The fifth Beirut Art Fair will take place from September 18 and 21, featuring 47 art galleries from 14 countries, at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Centre. Organized by Cedralys SARL since 2010, the event has established itself on the regional and international art scenes by mainly promoting works from the MENASA region. Alongside [...]

2014-09-18 09:21

The Future of Brands

  In a press release today, WPP’s media agency MEC recently published ‘The Future of Brands’ – a compilation of five essays of which, three essays have passed with istinctions and one Credit by the judges of the 2013-14 Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Excellence Diploma in the UK, as well as a bronze from [...]

2014-09-17 14:02

Buoyed by Apple Watch, wearable tech poised for a boom

During an interview this summer in Chicago, Paul Roth, AT&T‘s president of retail sales and services, described wearable devices as the “future of retail” before adding, “it’s a niche market”. That’s why the tech industry is looking to Apple to do what it does best: Take a budding technology, package it neatly and blow it up [...]

2014-09-16 17:54

At your service

In Latin, “ad vertere” means “to turn toward”. It is a concept that has formed the foundation of marketing communications from its inception. Whether it’s flyers, radio jingles, TV commercials or digital communications, brands have been using advertising and communications to motivate audiences to ‘turn toward’ them. In 1892, when Almy Le Grand Peiroe  submitted [...]

2014-09-16 15:08

For better or worse

  Against a backdrop of mounting political, social and economic instability that followed the toppling of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the ousting of Egypt’s first democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-backed Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, and the coming to power of previous Egyptian Armed Forces commander-in-chief and minister of defense Abdel-Fattah El [...]

2014-09-16 13:17

Everything you need to know about programmatic media

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has released a guide to Programmatic media, titled: What Every Advertiser Should Know about Media Markets. The guide addresses the barriers faced by advertisers while explaining the advantages and solutions of programmatic buying.  Trading Desks Advertisers can choose from three trading desks: Agency Trading Desk: It makes all investment [...]

2014-09-15 18:47

POY holds panel discussion on the future of shopper marketing

  In the first of its POY talks series, Product of the Year (POY), an independent awards program recognizing consumer-voted goods across 42 countries worldwide, held a panel discussion last week at Dubai’s MAKE Business Hub, titled: “Getting under the skin of shoppers”. The discussion revolved around future-shaping trends in shopper marketing research, intertwining technology, [...]

2014-09-15 18:33

Burger King Japan unveils black burger

  At Burger King Japan, black is the new orange. For a limited time starting September 19, the fast food chain’s Japanese stores will offer two Kuro Burgers (“Black Burgers”) that swap their orange-yellow buns and cheese for ones that are pitch black, according to a press release. The Kuro Pearl features solely the black buns, black [...]

2014-09-15 16:32

MediaVest wins Wrigley MENA account

  According to a press release today, media agency MediaVest has been awarded the media planning and buying business for Wrigley across the MENA market, following a business review. The account was previously with media agency OMD. The assignment will see MediaVest handle online and offline business for all Wrigley brands, as the company wanted to consolidate its [...]

2014-09-15 15:13

Optimus time

What is the reason behind launching the Transformers program at this point? We have been focused on growing and recruiting people for the past three years. We’ve also replaced some talents to ensure we have the right pool of people that fit the culture on one hand, and clients’ needs on the other. Today, we [...]

2014-09-15 12:18

Four Communications appointed for Taste of Abu Dhabi

  In a press release yesterday, UAE-based events and publishing company Turret Media announced that it has selected Four Communications, the independent integrated agency, to manage all public relations for its latest event, Taste of Abu Dhabi. Taste of Abu Dhabi is the most recent edition of the world’s al fresco food, drink and music [...]

2014-09-15 11:19

Top 10 online trending bytes

Online journal shares the latest digital, web and user insights, as well as social media news, with Communicate Levant. YouTube will let your fans donate to you Hello YouTubers! Are you ready to make some money outside of advertising? After upsetting users by announcing a subscription-based service for musicians, YouTube wants to help its [...]

2014-09-15 11:03

FTC snags google in $19 million mobile app settlement

  Another tech giant — this time it’s Google — is caught up in a prolonged Federal Trade Commission (FTC) crackdown. Google settled with the FTC for a minimum of $19 million for allegedly enabling kids to pay to download mobile apps without consent from mom or dad. The agency will “continue to be vigilant” in investigating [...]

2014-09-14 15:48

Publicis Groupe and Adobe co-launch Always-On marketing platform

Last week, Publicis Groupe  and Adobe announced the launch of the Always-On Platform, an end-to-end marketing management platform from Publicis Groupe that automates and connects all components of a client’s marketing efforts. The platform will standardize on Adobe Marketing Cloud, offering all Publicis Groupe agencies access to content creation, marketing intelligence, audience build and identification, campaign [...]

2014-09-14 14:34

E-merging market

  The decision of an established e-commerce player to drop COD (cash on delivery) services would garner little attention elsewhere in the world – and, in fact, would only be considered a natural progression of the business. But regional e-commerce platform JadoPado’s recent announcement that it would stop offering COD as a payment option got quite mixed reactions in a region where a [...]

2014-09-14 14:07

Demand on video

  Compiling figures from IPG Mediabrands and the MAGNA Global Advertising Forecasts 2013 report, regional social video advertising platform Buzzeff recently stated that global investments into social video advertising have witnessed a growth of 37 percent in 2013, amounting to $8.26 billion. In the MENA region, it claims that social video advertising saw a 300 percent growth in 2013, when compared with the previous [...]

2014-09-11 18:18

Business Marketing Association to host second annual conference in November

  The Business Marketing Association (BMA) MENA Chapter announced that its second annual conference, “Connect 2 Opportunity”, will be held on November 19 at the Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, in Dubai. Under the theme “Your Connection to B2B”, this year’s conference will connect marketing professionals with thought leaders, industry peers, and the latest advancements [...]

2014-09-11 17:09

The pyramid scheme of things

  Google today launched 360-degree street view imagery of the Pyramids and five other historical landmarks in Egypt for the first time. Street View Special Collects is a feature of Google Maps that lets users explore places around the world like landmarks, natural wonders, as well as culturally and historically significant sites. Users can now virtually tour [...]

2014-09-11 17:00

Going native

  Yahoo, LinkedIn and mobile network AdFalcon recently introduced native ad formats in the MENA region. In theory, these formats seamlessly integrate commercial into editorial content. In practice, native advertising sounds an awful lot like – and is often confused with – sponsored and branded content, and even good ole advertorials. We ask the experts: Harvey [...]

2014-09-11 16:33

Zenith bags Electrolux account in MENA

Ali Basma, business managing director at Zenith Cairo Publicis Groupe’s live ROI agency Zenith (ZenithOptimedia) has won the home and professional appliances brand Electrolux business across the region. Effective immediately, Zenith Egypt will handle the brand’s offline business by applying ROI techniques to formulate non-traditional market strategies, implement multi-platform marketing solutions and create content that can [...]

2014-09-11 12:56

BLOM Bank and Impact BBDO launch demining campaign

BLOM Bank recently struck a chord with its campaign to launch phase two of the BLOM Demining Program, in collaboration with Impact BBDO. The emotional campaign called on the Lebanese to perform a heroic act of simply using their BLOM Giving MasterCards to demine Lebanon. Initially launched in 2010, in collaboration with the Lebanese Mine [...]

2014-09-11 10:25

Airbnb Names TBWA new global agency

  Omnicom’s TBWA has been named the global agency of record for Airbnb, the hospitality startup, after a review. The agency was selected because of a “rigorous and inventive strategy, provocative creative and understanding of the brand’s purpose and its potential,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We’re delighted to be working with TBWAChiatDay, one of the [...]

2014-09-10 18:09

Facebook’s strategy to take on YouTube comes into view

  Facebook made a small update to its video product on Monday that points the way to a potentially big business. Videos uploaded to Facebook using the social network’s own video player will now publicly display how many views they receive. Facebook’s YouTube-like move is an attempt to show online video networks and advertisers how [...]

2014-09-10 17:53

Competitors react to Apple’s latest announcement

  Criticize it, rave about it, or try and mimic it; if there’s one thing you can’t do, it’s ignore it. Quite obviously, we’re talking about the tech giant, Apple and more specifically, its slew of new releases earlier today: the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. While consumer sentiment ranged from excitement [...]

2014-09-10 17:23

Serious business

  In a region where “everyone and their mother is now a social media consultant”, as digital hub Arabnet’s CEO, Omar Christidis, once put it, it’s become quite hard to understand and define the roles of those in the field – and, for some, quite easy to poke fun at them. But, as it transpired [...]

2014-09-10 17:03

Apple’s shifting online ad strategy

In what could foreshadow a sharp change in its online marketing strategy, Apple will work with four new digital advertising agencies, Ad Age reported earlier this year. The move could be huge: Successful though its campaigns are, Apple has been a very traditional, almost old-fashioned, user of ad media so far. The four agencies — Huge, AKQA, Kettle, and Area [...]

2014-09-10 15:31

‘Tec crunch

  On March 10, few would have paid attention to rumors involving UAE-based construction firm Arabtec’s then CEO, Hasan Abdulla Ismaik, in multi-million-dollar corruption cases in Jordan; perhaps because that was the day that followed the company’s signing of a $40 billion housing project with Egypt’s defense ministry – a “historic agreement,” according to Arabtec’s tweet [...]

2014-09-10 12:10

How are B2B brands relevant to consumers?

  International branding agency Siegel + Gale has released a report titled B2B Now. “Most business-to-business companies (B2Bs) still debate the ultimate business benefit of building a strong brand that everyday consumers can understand and relate to,” explains the agency in the report on the reasons behind undertaking the study, which surveyed close to 9,500 consumers and 450 business decisions-makers [...]

2014-09-10 11:43

Playing with fire

  Three hours into a lengthy debate with Tarik Kaddoumi, a self-proclaimed liberal and cofounder of Umbrellab – a payment gateway that enables businesses to accept Bitcoins – Communicate felt that it had stepped into an all-too familiar movie storyboard: a too-good-to-be-true revolutionary seed of an idea against the status quo that turns real, is fought against tooth and nail by those in [...]

2014-09-10 10:18

Twitter slowly wades into e-commerce

Twitter is now a shopping platform. On Monday, the social media company introduced its Buy Now button, a feature that allows users to make purchases directly on and through its mobile app. “You’re going to see native ad units become transactional,” said Nathan Hubbard, head of commerce at Twitter. “We’ve put a stake in [...]

2014-09-09 18:26

MSN revamps Arabic homepage

  Microsoft has unveiled a revamped homepage for MSN in the UAE today, “designed from the ground up for a mobile, cloud-first world,” and combining “premium content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools that help you do more,” it said in a statement. “Clearly, audiences are part of a cloud-first mobile first [...]

2014-09-09 15:58

UM MENA wins L’Oréal’s media planning and buying account in MENA

  UM MENA, which falls under the Middle East Communication Network in the region, has won the media planning and buying account for L’Oréal in MENA “against three of the region’s largest media networks”,  it claims in an announcement it sent out today. Effective immediately, UM MENA will handle integrated strategic media duties for the global [...]

2014-09-09 14:47

ZenithOptimedia acquires German SEO agency AKM3

  Publicis Groupe-owned ZenithOptimedia has acquired SEO (search engine optimization) agency AKM3 in Europe — a transaction that has been approved by the German Federal Cartel Office. Founded in 2011, Berlin-based AKM3 staffs more than a 100 employees, its roster of clients including Zalando, Teufel Audio, ProSiebenSat1 and Axel Springer. The agency will be aligned with [...]

2014-09-09 14:24

A history of Apple’s product launch marketing

  When developers first starting building for Apple’s phones, in 2007, they were given one format for the four-inch iPhone screens. A larger format came along three years later, when the iPad debuted. Google, on the other hand, gave developers an array of options, so they could build apps for its ever-evolving cache of hardware partners [...]

2014-09-09 13:57

Uber app launched in Beirut

Uber launched its ridesharing service in Beirut on September 1, making it the sixth Middle Eastern city to embrace the smartphone application. Uber allows users to connect to licensed private drivers in the neighborhood at the touch of a button, using the smartphone’s GPS to detect both parties’ locations. This means that Beirut residents can [...]

2014-09-09 11:30

Keep it on the hush

  It’s really fascinating how the Internet has become a major political and thought influencer in the Arab world; governments are overturned overnight on social media, revolutions are started on Facebook and people’s once live confrontations and debates have moved online. Often, smartphone users exchanging information through P2P (peer-to-peer) and group discussions on social networks [...]

2014-09-09 10:50

5 things to expect from Apple’s iPhone 6 event

Apple is just a day away from unveiling a new slate of shiny products, according to a countdown timer the company set up yesterday. That webpage will point to a webcast of the live event on Tuesday Sept. 9, taking place at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif. It’s the same place where, 30 years prior, Steve Jobs first unveiled the [...]

2014-09-08 16:29

Actel partners with SLA Mobile to offer Direct Operator Billing to clients

SLA Mobile, a worldwide solutions vendor focused on generating new revenue streams for mobile operators and merchants, has partnered with Actel, a value-added service (VAS) provider in the Middle East and Africa.  As SLA Mobile recently introduced Direct Operator Billing (DOB) capabilities to Zain Group in the Middle East, this partnership will allow Actel to [...]

2014-09-08 15:25

Gaza stripped to the truth

  Midway through Israel’s 22-day “Cast Lead” offensive on Gaza in late 2008 and into 2009 – which cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians, according to think-tank Global Research – Mashable reported that Twitter, back then a startup, had registered a staggering growth of 752 percent. A few months earlier, Facebook had officially outstripped MySpace [...]

2014-09-08 12:53

Living social

  In May 2014, the number of active Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter users reached nearly 81 million, 8.5 million and six million, respectively, in the Arab world, nearly doubling from the previous year, according to the Arab Social Media Report. The regional average for Facebook penetration jumped to 21.5 percent for the same period, up [...]

2014-09-07 17:14

Here’s what else is wrong with native advertising

One of the great media pleasures of the summer was getting to watch John Oliver’s trademark extended Last Week Tonight commentaries. The show debuted in the spring, but the “Oliver rant” arguably became a bona fide social-media phenomenon – and a key part of the cultural conversation – the first week of June. From the [...]

2014-09-07 16:38

YouTube MENA Leaderboard July 2014

  The explosive growth of YouTube around the globe has made it a powerful medium for brands to bring original and engaging campaigns to life reaching global audiences, including right here in MENA. Google has decided to share the best practices of creativity with Communicate through the Youtube Ads Leaderboard. The Leaderboard is a list of the [...]

2014-09-07 13:12

Think outside the box

  Mention the three letters – CNN – to a shopper in a mall or a CEO in a boardroom, and people will instantly think of TV news. I may be relatively new to the company, but even with my 19 years’ experience in the industry, what strikes me about CNN is that we don’t just [...]

2014-09-07 11:55

New road safety campaign launched in Lebanon

  Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Telecommunications, Lebanese politician Boutros Harb, represented by his media adviser Youssef Howayek, of Lebanese mobile operator Alfa, managed by Orascom Telecom, and road safety NGO Kunhadi have launched the “Last Seen” road safety awareness campaign for the second consecutive year. The campaign aims to raise [...]

2014-09-04 18:29

The Gunn Report publishes The Power of Print

  The Gunn Report has released ‘The Power of Print’, a study of the most awarded print and outdoor ads in the world, which identifies 13 basic dramatic formats used in print advertising to engage consumers creatively and effectively. A total of 1,028 award winning print and outdoor ads and campaigns from around the world featured in The Gunn Report’s [...]

2014-09-04 17:38

Criteo shares new numbers on mobile opportunities for advertisers

  Self-described “personalized retargeting company” Criteo, which is reported to be bought out soon by Publicis Groupe, recently released the Mobile Flash Report, compiling figures on mobile behavior and usage and the opportunities that lay in them for advertisers and retailers. We’ve recapped the key findings: Retail, classified ads and travel rank first in mobile [...]

2014-09-04 15:47

Emerge and Lorenc+Yoo partner for regional branding projects

  Dubai-based branding consultancy Emerge is partnering with USA-based environmental graphic design firm Lorenc+Yoo for branding projects. The partnership will see the two companies collaborate for strategy, identity design, graphic branding, and environmental design for trade shows, exhibits, signage, way-finding programs, marketing centers, and retail environment projects in the region. “The Lorenc+Yoo-Emerge association will produce world-class branding [...]

2014-09-04 13:07

Payment gateway Telr eyes regional SMEs

Multi-currency and multi-lingual payment gateway for SMEs Telr  – founded and headed in the region by ex-Paypal MENA managing director Elias Ghanem –  has announced its merger with payment processing company Innovate Payments. Through this merger, Telr will strenghten its payment gateway, unified logistics and payments APIs offerings, alongside its cash management solutions. “Telr’s ambition to revolutionize the payments landscape [...]

2014-09-04 11:16

Redefining brand activations

Born out of the merger between brand activation agency G2, OgilvyAction and JWTAction, WPP activation agency Geometry Global was officially launched across the Middle East and out of Dubai in late May. Nearly four months into the launch, Communicate sat down with Geometry Global’s general manger Nick Walsh, executive creative director, Ben Knight and planning [...]

2014-09-04 11:00

MCN launches Transformers Leadership Development Program in the Middle East

  Middle East Communication Network (MCN) has launched its ‘Transformers Leadership Development program’. The program, in partnership with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, aims at developing and grooming the network’s best talent for future leadership across its multi-agency, multi-location footprint in the Middle East and North Africa. The program, inaugurated on September 2 in Dubai, has been [...]

2014-09-04 10:11

Du launches new social data pack

  Telco operator Du has launched its Unlimited Social Data Pack, through which all Pay as you Go® and Monthly plan customers are offered unlimited access to their social apps on their smartphone, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and LinkedIn at a cost of AED2 per day for Pay as you Go customers, and AED40 per day for monthly plan [...]

2014-09-03 16:20

UM MENA restructures digital operations

  Universal Media (UM) MENA, MCN‘s media and integrated agency, is looking at a structural redesign of its digital operations. Justin Mlynarski has been appointed as the regional digital director for MENA. His aim is to focus on digital across the MENA region — as opposed to just the GCC. Justin Mlynarski, regional digital director at [...]

2014-09-03 15:48

Apple should be more transparent about security

It seems that Apple has gotten embroiled in a security scandal of one sort or another every few months. It dodged Heartbleed but was hit by the very embarrassing ‘goto fail’ bug. It was called out for not adequately documenting the uses of diagnostic tools that could have been used to collect data from user devices. Late last year, researchers showed off a [...]

2014-09-03 13:39

FP7/DXB wins Majid Al Futtaim leisure and entertainment business

  FP7/DXB has successfully pitched and won the leisure & entertainment arm of the Majid Al Futtaim group of companies. The leisure and entertainment arm falls under Majid Al Futtaim Ventures LLC, which is responsible for developing and managing new enterprises that complement Majid Al Futtaim. The pitch was initiated in May 2014 and included [...]

2014-09-02 18:48

Join the ranks

  It’s natural for brands to want to publish content on their own website but it is relatively more effective to spread the brand message on other websites within the same category. Established domains have a strong authority and require less time and effort on the marketer’s part to rank on the first page of [...]

2014-09-02 17:43

JWT appoints Francois Kanaan as managing director in Kuwait

  JWT announced today the appointment of Francois Kanaan to the role of Managing Director of the agency’s operation in Kuwait. Based in Kuwait, Kanaan will report in directly to Michiel Hofstee, CEO of JWT Gulf. Kanaan has previously helped with the launch of JWT Abu Dhabi and its major client wins. Between 1998 and [...]

2014-09-02 15:01

50 Favorite Online-Marketing Influencers of 2014

  It’s getting more and more difficult to know which sources to trust online. This helps explain why lists such as this one are consistently some of the most read and shared: people want (no, need) to know that the content they’re reading is reliable and trustworthy. When it comes to determining the “top 50″ of anything, [...]

2014-09-01 14:51

Mindshare’s “The Art of Original Thinking” comes to Dubai

  WPP’s Mindshare, a global media agency network, hosted “The Art of Original Thinking” – a one-day event at Fairmont The Palm Dubai on August 30. The event was held in appreciation of Mindshare’s most outstanding performers and was attended by senior team members and star performers from the agency. The first speaker was Perry [...]

2014-09-01 10:56

AdZouk launches Zoukontent native advertising solution in the region

  Premium online advertising network in the Middle East AdZouk has launched “Zoukontent”, an “exclusive technology designed to create a smooth transition between website content and sponsored advertisements, with optimal audience engagement,” the network claims. Through, Zoukontent, advertisers provide AdZouk with creative assets in line with their brand guidelines, and the system generates a bespoke version [...]

2014-09-01 09:00

Citruss TV secures investment from Valoris Capital

  Multi-channel home shopping business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Citruss TV has announced an investment by Valoris Capital to support its expansion plans. The company intends to use the new capital to continue strengthening its operations, progressively move to LIVE TV, expand its e-commerce and m-commerce presence and increase penetration in [...]

2014-08-31 13:10

Facebook launches bandwidth targeting tool

  Facebook has launched a new feature enabling advertisers to reach people based on the network connection — 2G, 3G or 4G — they most often use when accessing the social network. Facebook already offers the option to reach people based on the type of device they use (smart phones, feature phones and tablets), as well as [...]

2014-08-31 11:40

Current matters

  What is the decision behind starting Current@Resolution, given that there are many sophisticated and advanced third-party tools available for multinationals? We wanted to create a completely integrated social solution for our clients with the most sophisticated tools we have. Current@Resolution takes feeds from the best-in-class third party and proprietary data analytics tools. We then integrate [...]

2014-08-31 09:30

FP7 Dubai wins Emirates Islamic Bank account

  FP7/DXB  has successfully secured the marketing and advertising remit for UAE financial institution Emirates Islamic Bank,  a subsidiary of Emirates NBD Group. The selection process was initiated in January 2014, and included several multinational advertising agencies. With this win, FP7/DXB will be solely responsible for the through-the-line communication for Emirates Islamic across its new brand [...]

2014-08-28 16:18

Burger King in talks to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons

  Burger King Worldwide is in talks to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons and move its headquarters to Canada, becoming the latest American company seeking to relocate to a lower-tax country. Burger King would create the world’s third largest fast food chain by merging with Canada’s biggest seller of coffee and doughnuts, the companies said [...]

2014-08-27 10:44

Samsung jumps on the Ice Bucket bandwagon

  Dozens of major corporations have jumped on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon, releasing videos featuring their executives doused in frigid water for the viral philanthropic venture. Samsung may be the first to turn it into an ad. On Friday morning, a tweet from the company’s U.K. mobile account sent out a link to a 15-second [...]

2014-08-25 17:51

Lesson learned

  The first step Malaysian Airlines (MAS) has been grabbing headlines with the disappearance of MH370 this March and the shooting down of MH17 just two months later. The recent events raise an important question: what is the first lesson in damage control for a brand? Expect the unexpected and that a crisis will happen, [...]

2014-08-25 11:15

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller named PR Agency of the Year in the MEA

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the region’s public relations consultancy, has won ten awards at the 11th Annual International Business Awards 2014, including the Public Relations Agency of the Year in the Middle East and Africa, for the fourth year. The agency was awarded a record three gold, five silver and two bronze ‘Stevies’, as the awards are [...]

2014-08-24 18:06

Veez Inc. collaborates with Arab Idol, Lipton tea for crowdsourcing campaigns

  The online community is strongly opinionated with everything it’s involved in from media and politics to culture and society. Tapping in on the users’ habit of participating in social conversations, especially the ones around their interests and hobbies, brands are now outsourcing campaigns to further drive brand engagement with their users.Veez Inc., a Dubai-based [...]

2014-08-24 16:31

RAKBANK enables card-less ATM withdrawals with MobileCash

  RAKBANK has launched MobileCash, a new service allowing its customers to withdraw cash and send money to their friends, family or anyone in the UAE using only their mobile phone – even if the recipient does not have a bank account. The service runs off the advanced RAKBANK mobile banking app platform. An SMS [...]

2014-08-21 16:07

Greggs bakery’s Google profile disaster

Photo credit: Greggs, Telegraph Greggs the baker demonstrated how to turn a PR nightmare into a positive after an offensive logo appeared on its Google profile. The company famous for its steak bakes and sausage rolls has been flooded with messages from Twitter users after the unfortunate mishap was picked up online. Its normal logo was replaced with [...]

2014-08-20 17:32

Serious business

  How can brands use LinkedIn’s marketing solutions? We’re a hugely data-rich platform. So we allow brands to target members by anything really they share on their LinkedIn profile, whether that’s their industry, their function and their seniority. There are a couple of ways in which brands can actually engage with members on the platform. We’ve [...]

2014-08-20 17:04

Ethical hackers invited to join inaugural du Hackathon

  As part of the du Cyber Security Conference 2014, du invites student ethical hackers to register for the du Hackathon, which will take place from 8 am to 2 pm on September 18 at the Armani Hotel, Dubai. The du Cyber Security Conference is an annual event, promoting and sharing information about the latest [...]

2014-08-20 16:53

Individual marketing firm SweetBeam appoints Four Communications

  Individual marketing firm SweetBeam has selected Four Communications, the independent integrated agency, to develop its external communications strategy and drive its public relations programme in the region and internationally. Four Communications has been appointed as SweetBeam’s retainer communications agency to increase awareness of its service offering, manage its press office and build the SweetBeam [...]

2014-08-20 14:13

Fifth Ring appoints new head of public relations

  Global energy communication specialists Fifth Ring has appointed expert Ali Faour to head its public relations function at its office in Dubai. It is the latest senior appointment during a year of significant growth and global activity for the company, with the US office alone doubling its numbers and preparing to expand into new [...]

2014-08-20 11:28

Why the sports market must play the long game

  This year’s FIFA World Cup Finals feels like an event that doesn’t happen often enough, which is perhaps why it generates such fervid sports enthusiasm every four years, with crowds gathering in over-packed sports bars and proclaiming their support of a favorite team on social media. Facebook and Twitter dominated the social media landscape [...]

2014-08-19 18:38

Regional Porsche business awarded to Omnicom agencies

  Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, has selected DDB Dubai as its marketing support agency after an extensive four months long review. The review included organizational fit, regional operational knowledge, motor industry experience and infrastructure and was led by representatives from Porsche’s regional lead office in Dubai, which formed a Review Committee, comprising Marketing, [...]

2014-08-19 15:22

Yas Marina Circuit launches F1 digital experience app

  Yas Marina Circuit has announced the launch of its new YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. The app was developed to provide the latest news and information during the build up to the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and a seamless end-user experience for visitors to the circuit on race weekend. [...]

2014-08-19 14:49

Bitcoin shakes up remittances as poorer people offered digital deals

  Social entrepreneurs in developing countries are using mobile phones and the controversial digital currency bitcoin to increase the speed, and slash the price, of international money transfers, raising the prospect of a revolution in the $600 billion annual global remittance market. Soaring rates of mobile phone use in developing countries are helping the entrepreneurs compete with [...]

2014-08-18 17:48

Coca-Cola takes stake in Monster

Coca-Cola has agreed to swap some brands and buy a 17 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corp. for about $2.15 billion, increasing its bet on the burgeoning energy drink market. The move is part of a deal that will include the transfer of Coca-Cola’s energy drinks NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother and Play to Monster, according [...]

2014-08-18 17:12

Facebook tests a ‘satire’ tag to help you spot fake news

  Can you tell the difference between a real news headline and something invented by the writers of The Onion? Facebook thinks you might need a little help separating actual events from the satirical takes on them and is testing an automatic “satire” tag to label spoof stories on the network. The tweak was first spotted by [...]

2014-08-18 16:45

Abu Dhabi Media and OSN announce strategic collaboration

  Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) – a multi-platform media and entertainment organization in the Middle East has collaborated with OSN, a pay-TV network. ADM will migrate its high-hefinition subscription-based sports channels to OSN, followed by a new HD channel, Abu Dhabi Drama +, that will feature regional Arabic production months before it airs on the [...]

2014-08-18 16:26

Serviceplan announces new appointments

Serviceplan Middle East, today announced the appointment of its new general manager and client servicing director. Jan-Philipp Jahn has been appointed as the general manager of the agency and Hassan Khatoun will take over as client services director. In his new role, Jahn will oversee the day-to-day operations of the agency and will play a [...]

2014-08-18 15:53

The evolution of brand Dubai

  With the recent launch of Dubai’s new brand logo and identity, it is only fitting to examine the social, cultural and economic factors that have shaped Dubai’s image. Rapid growth and development over the past decades has established Dubai as a global trade, tourism and finance hub, and set a new lifestyle precedent in [...]

2014-08-18 12:08

Twitter changes pricing model for advertisers

  Twitter has introduced new tools for what it calls “objective-based campaigns”, offering four new ways in which advertisers can buy ads on the social media platform. Previously, ad buyers worked on a cost-per-engagement model, paying for promoted tweets only when users interacted with them – a click, reply, retweet or ‘favorite’. Now, advertisers can [...]

2014-08-14 17:37

Robin Williams’ suicide and the death of media ethics

  The news of Robin Williams’ suicide this Monday in his California home has shocked and saddened fans the world over from the entertainment industry and outside of it. In varying degrees of detail, almost every media outlet recounted and dissected the events that led up to Williams’ suicide, the suicide itself and, naturally, social [...]

2014-08-14 17:18

Connect Ads partners with Shazam in the UAE

  Digital media and technology solutions provider Connect Ads, a subsidiary of OTVentures, announced today an exclusive partnership with music, media and ad recognition app Shazam - which runs on any smartphone and can recognize content on nearby TVs, videos or tablets. The app has seen increasing commercial use, whereby TV viewers who “Shazam”ed a 15-second commercial showing [...]

2014-08-14 16:27

Top 10 online trending bytes

Online journal shares the latest digital, web and user insights, as well as social media news, with Communicate Levant. Apple and Samsung drop lawsuits outside of the US Since their divorce (ie: stopped working hand-in-hand), Samsung and Apple have been waging a relentless legal war against each other. But, it seems like the two [...]

2014-08-14 10:00

Initiative campaigns shortlisted for M&M Global Awards 2014

  Initiative MENA has had three of its client campaigns shortlisted for the M&M Global Awards 2014. The UAE-based regional communications network sees its marketing activities for both Etisalat and Carefree nominated under Best Local Execution of a Global Brand, and its work for KFC Arabia selected in the new category of Best Social Media Campaign. [...]

2014-08-13 16:13

WPP’s GroupM to offer flexible alternative to Xaxis

In a bid to keep clients from moving their programmatic operations in house, GroupM, the media agency network under WPP, is building a less constrictive alternative for its programmatic buying arm Xaxis. The alternative is a system in which clients work with whichever ad-tech vendors or data-management platforms they choose – Group M will suggest [...]

2014-08-12 15:44

BuzzFeed gets $50 million investment

  BuzzFeed, the website that has branched out from lists and quizzes to international news coverage, got a $50 million investment from venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. The deal values BuzzFeed at about $850 million, the New York Times reported. Chris Dixon, an Andreessen Horowitz partner, wrote in a blog post that he will join [...]

2014-08-12 11:47

Seven intriguing products from China

  China’s food safety watchdog just cracked down on a new trend in China: juice packaged in fake medical blood bags. The drinks, priced in the $3 to $5 range, were inspired by US TV hits popular with pop culture-savvy young consumers. One was called the Vampire Diaries Drink. Some had a blood type printed [...]

2014-08-11 21:30

When Big Data is watching you

  Is the answer to our feeble human minds needing to grapple with increasing quantities of big data to stand in a purpose built room immersed in complex data visualizations while wearing an array of sensors that track our physiological reactions? A group of European Commission-backed scientists believe so. They’re attempting to quantify — and, they claim, enhance — cognition by building a sensor-based data [...]

2014-08-11 20:40

LoopPay secures investment from Visa Inc.

  LoopPay Inc., which provides the world’s first mobile payments solution accepted at the vast majority of retail point-of-sale terminals, announced that it has received an investment from global payments technology company Visa Inc. The investment is part of a larger strategic funding round for LoopPay, announced earlier this month, which includes Synchrony Financial (formerly GE Capital [...]

2014-08-11 19:58

Google tests way to track consumers from mobile browsers to the apps they use

  Google has come up with a way to overcome the ad-targeting gap between mobile web visitors and mobile app users, according to people familiar with the matter. The online ad giant is set to begin testing a new method of targeting tablet and smartphone users that connects the separate tracking mechanisms that follow what [...]

2014-08-10 17:41

Going native

  With the increasing penetration of mobile devices in the MENA region, it’s no surprise that the media closest to a consumer is his mobile device. This high level of accessibility is at the inception of the multiscreen phenomenon – people watch TV with their eyes and fingers on the screen of their mobile device, [...]

2014-08-10 15:57

The 2014 state of digital transformation

  Compiling the results of a survey  it conducted across the year 2013, digital company Altimeter Group has released a report on how businesses explore digital transformation. “Digital transformation is vast and often  misunderstood as a  formal effort to renovate  business vision, models,  and investments for a new  digital economy,” says the report, adding that definitions and [...]

2014-08-09 11:31

Third GCC Government Social Media Summit to be held in September

  Despite the rising numbers of Arabs online[1] and 82 million active social media users across the region, the use of social media channels to communicate with the government is still limited. The public sector’s online communication with citizens remains primarily one-way, as 74 per cent of the Arab internet users who visit government social [...]

2014-08-07 16:41

WhatsApp-ening with them?

  “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [stuff] we don’t need.” Tyler Durden’s remarkable line from Fight Club is also the opening line of WhatsApp’s blog post titled: “Why we don’t sell ads”. Yet, mobile users in the UAE have been receiving marketing messages from unknown [...]

2014-08-07 15:20

Resolution MENA launches Current@Resolution social marketing solution

  Omnicom Media Group’s Resolution MENA, the network’s arm specializing in performance and content marketing services, including social and mobile, has launched Current@Resolution, its social marketing solution for brands. Supported by proprietary technology, Current@Resolution provides consolidated live insights from paid, owned and earned (POE) sources to ensure brands capitalize on public sentiment with timely, relevant [...]

2014-08-07 15:12

Leo Burnett wins shootout for ideas to refresh McDonald’s brand

  Leo Burnett has won an agency shootout for ideas to refresh the McDonald’s brand, according to people familiar with the matter. Its concept is likely to appear in a significant campaign next year or perhaps late this year, the people say. Burnett is already on the McDonald’s agency roster for Happy Meal work, as [...]

2014-08-07 12:28

Is it legal to fine customers for negative online reviews?

  Union Street Guest House, a self-described “historic” hotel in New York’s Hudson River Valley, is testing the proposition that all press is good press. After the hotel’s attempt to fine a wedding party $500 for each negative online guest review went viral, the Internet unleashed a torrent of outraged, one-star reviews on the inn’s Yelp page. The specific [...]

2014-08-06 17:51

Weber Shandwick releases report on converging communications and marketing

  A subtle but fast-growing shift is taking place in companies across industries and the world – the convergence of the corporate communications and marketing functions; a trend driven by dramatic shifts in digital media and the stronger relationship between brand and corporate reputation. Weber Shandwick, has found that the rate of chief communications officers [...]

2014-08-06 17:30

Samsung creates digital billboard on Sheikh Zayed road

  Cheil MENA, a communications partner of Samsung Electronics, has unveiled a three-month integrated campaign that features a prominent digital billboard on Sheikh Zayed Road displaying consumer-generated content from their Facebook page. The campaign in aimed at promoting the powerful photographic capabilities of the new Samsung Galaxy S5. The campaign is titled ‘Super Selfie‘ and it encourages Samsung [...]

2014-08-06 16:08

Skoda converts the Fabia into a hostel room

  Skoda recently conducted  a marketing campaign in Moscow, Russia effectively combining guerrilla marketing and social media. Proximity Russia and Skoda worked together to convert the Skoda Fabia into a hostel room with a double bed, pillows, wifi, and towels. The ‘hostel’ was placed at Izmaiolovo Park in Moscow. The campaign came at a time when [...]

2014-08-06 15:28

RECMA ranks SMG MENA number one media agency in the MENA region

  Paris-based research agency RECMA (Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry) has named Starcom MediaVest Group the number one ranked agency in the MENA region in its 2013 Global Billings Rankings Report. In 2013, SMG MENA increased its billings by 18 percent, with an industry share of 17.5 percent. RECMA’s report evaluates the overall [...]

2014-08-06 11:29

Visa to secure payments for the Internet of Things

Payment solutions provider Visa Inc. has created Visa Digital Solutions, a suite of offerings that facilitate secure payments across a broad range of Internet-connected devices and wearables. In 2014, commerce initiated with mobile phones and tablets is expected to total $114 billion in the US alone, according to research firm Forrester. Two-thirds of those sales will happen via [...]

2014-08-05 17:44

Continental jumps on the augmented reality bandwagon

  Tire manufacturer and international automotive supplier Continental has launched its augmented reality head-up display system (AR-HUD). The system supplements the exterior view of the traffic conditions in front of the vehicle with virtual information for the driver, with production planned for 2017. The AR-HUD provides drivers with better quality of information. The augmentation connects [...]

2014-08-05 16:13

Millions are thankful for this feel-good bank ad and its overly generous ATMs

Image property of TD Canada Trust proved it knew its customers better than most banks by turning a few of its ATMs into Automated Thanking Machines, and rigging them to hand out more than cash. A single mom got two savings accounts for her kids and trip to Disneyland. A Toronto Blue Jays fan [...]

2014-08-05 15:57

Why media brands are reviewing their media agencies

A flurry of media companies are evaluating or changing their media agency relationships as they grapple with digital’s increasing influence over TV budgets and content. Four media organizations have shifted, or are currently considering a change in their media agency relationships:FX Networks has consolidated its business with Publicis Groupe’s Zenith, dropping smaller incumbent MediaStorm; Al Jazeera has [...]

2014-08-05 15:50

P&G will merge or divest more than half of its brands

  Procter & Gamble Co. plans to divest, discontinue or merge more than half of its brands globally as it restructures to focus on its top 70 to 80 brands, says chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley on the company’s earnings conference call. The move comes more than 14 months after Lafley returned as CEO, and at the end [...]

2014-08-04 23:46

Facebook for Windows phones updated

  Microsoft updated its Facebook app for Windows Phone today, bringing a bunch of new features out of beta, including a new design. You can download the latest version now directly from the Windows Phone Store. First off, you can see the updated design below. In addition to the overhauled user experience, Microsoft is promising “improved app performance,” [...]

2014-08-04 22:15

Changing search trends in Ramadan

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, is a major religious event celebrated by, and affecting individuals all around the world. In the Middle East, Ramadan takes on a different meaning not just for individuals, but businesses as well. Consumer behavior is affected on every level – consumer spending, advertising budgets, engagement, Internet traffic, [...]

2014-08-04 18:40

Capillary Technologies raises $14 million Series B funding

  Capillary Technologies, a cloud-based retail customer engagement management, has announced that it has closed a $14 million Series B round of venture financing led by Sequoia Capital and Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). This new investment adds to the $17 million of Series A funding received in 2012. The funding will be used to enhance [...]

2014-08-04 16:46

Capital MSL Middle East appoints David Kingsmill-Moore as director

  David Kingsmill-Moore has joined Capital MSL Middle East as a director with a remit to help build the business both in the United Arab Emirates and the broader GCC region. He has spent the past seven years in the Gulf, initially in Bahrain with Hill & Knowlton and later as Director of Communications at [...]

2014-08-04 15:57

FP7 Dubai makes it to the Effie’s list of most effective agencies in 2014

  The Effie Awards have been honoring ideas that work globally since 1968. Taking this concept further, the Effie Effectiveness Index was introduced in 2011 to recognize the importance of marketing effectiveness by revealing which companies are the most successful at creating ideas that delivered results. The Index features the most effective marketers, brands, agency [...]

2014-08-04 15:39

JCDecaux unveils first digital screen network in Oman

  JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC), the global outdoor advertising company, has unveiled a new network of HD (high definition) digital screens at Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport, in conjunction with OAMC (Oman Airports Management Company). The 103-inch premium quality screens, with high performance and cutting-edge design are located in the baggage reclaim areas [...]

2014-08-03 18:07

Google Family Application Suite launched for du home customers

  du home customers are now able to access a new Google Family Application Suite, allowing them to use Google Apps such as Gmail, Calendar and Hangouts via one centralized account. The new unified solution will be available through du’s home service packages and payable through standard monthly service fees, eliminating the need for multiple [...]

2014-08-03 17:39

Cheil takes over experiential duties for du

  Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) has awarded its live event and experiential marketing requirements to Cheil MENA. The communications agency, which has an event production unit integrated into its creative services, will deliver strategy, concept development, design, build and on-site management alongside a range of engaging live activations. Hala Badri, executive vice president [...]

2014-08-03 14:21

Content is still king, but context is queen

  How do we practice storytelling on social mediums where consumer behavior is at hyper speed?  We respect the nuances of each social platform.  We all know that content is king; but there is a new queen in town, and it’s called ‘context’. We hear a lot about creative social strategy today, but not so [...]

2014-08-03 12:05

Ticket to the world

While creating concepts, traditional Lebanese street food brands think global In the past couple of years, street food restaurants that serve traditional Lebanese sandwiches, such as falafels and shawarmas, have been mushrooming in the country at a blinding speed. Besides the usual concern of offering healthy and tasty foods, these new chains have taken Lebanese [...]

2014-07-29 10:15

Hoff stuff

  On June 15, global PR firm Golin (up until recently Golin Harris International) kicked off advertising awards show Cannes Lions 2014 with a seminar entitled: Relevance & The Hoff. As its name indicates, the seminar talked about the personal brand relevance of American actor David Hasselhoff – whose public persona is dubbed The Hoff [...]

2014-07-28 10:03

Yahoo appoints Marc Bignell as head of trading for Emea

Yahoo announces the appointment of Marc Bignell as head of trading for Yahoo Emea. He will be based in London and will report to Dawn Airey, SVP at Yahoo Emea.   In the newly created role, Bignell will be responsible for driving agency relationships and trading agreements across Yahoo’s Emea markets. He will work closely [...]

2014-07-27 14:18

The Digital Madison Avenue

  In this day and age, each and every one of us lives two distinct lives: one offline, which is the real life we all know, and another life online, which so many of us are now enjoying. This new online lifestyle has attracted all sorts of people, both sane and mad, to Madison Avenue. [...]

2014-07-27 10:03

JWT wins STC account

After a highly competitive pitch process for its Consumer and Enterprise business, Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announces the renewal of its partnership with JWT Riyadh for a further three years.   “We would like to thank STC for its renewed confidence in JWT.  Winning the account was an enormous challenge, but demonstrates that our long-standing [...]

2014-07-23 12:30

Discard draft

  In early January 2014, DraftFCB was reported to be undergoing a rebranding overhaul that would see its return to the storied Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) name – and legacy – it held before its merger with marketing services group, Draft, in 2006, after which Howard Draft was named CEO of the agency network. When [...]

2014-07-23 10:03

YOLO generation

Today’s millennials are brands’ challenge and opportunity “We live in an amazing world and we waste it on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots; everything is amazing and nobody is happy.” That’s a pretty harsh judgment by Mexican-American comedian Louis C.K. on today’s youth, as expressed during one of his acts. To illustrate his point, [...]

2014-07-22 11:00

Tough call

“These are times when each entity within the communications ecosystem seeks to articulate its unique contribution to brand custodianship. I ask myself: whom should we believe? And in the midst of uncertainty, I am convinced that what is being played today is a zero-sum game,” says Lance De Masi, president of the International Advertising Association (IAA) [...]

2014-07-21 15:43

The changing visual representation of women

“You can’t be what you can’t see,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, author of Lean In and founder of LeanIn.Org. “In an age where media is all around us, it is critical that images provide examples that both women and men can emulate.” As we move into a more globalised world, where information and images [...]

2014-07-21 12:48

Pressing matters

  By the end of 1991, Brent Spar, a North Sea oil storage facility and tanker operated by – previously – Shell UK had become of little value to it on the heels of the completion of a pipeline connection to an oil terminal at Sullom Voe, Scotland. However, in 1995, it would prove to [...]

2014-07-21 12:27

VivaKi’s Social TV weekly update

  This Holy month, the Middle East’s top Ramadan TV series are garnering major buzz across social media platforms. As a result, marketers should be listening carefully to these revealing conversations. They should be analysing how strongly certain storylines or characters resonate amongst audiences in the sphere of social media. More importantly, they should be [...]

2014-07-21 12:04

Waterfront City wins at Real Estate Awards Lebanon

The fully integrated communication campaign for Waterfront City’s Business Park project was awarded the Exceptional Real Estate Communication Campaign Award, at the first Real Estate Awards Lebanon ceremony, held on June 14 at the Casino du Liban. Organized by the Real Estate Syndicate of Lebanon (R.E.A.L), the Awards aimed to reward excellence and quality in [...]

2014-07-21 09:21

Facebook unveils ‘Buy’ button, Twitter acquires payments startup

After the native ad, here comes the buy button. On Wednesday, both Facebook and Twitter made critical moves in their efforts to transform their platforms into formidable spaces for online commerce. On the morning of 17th July, Facebook unveiled a new test click-to-purchase product. Members on desktop computers or mobile devices will be able to [...]

2014-07-20 17:36

Young folk

  Last year, a YouTube video called “Somewhere In America #Mipsterz” sparked furious debate over young Muslims taking too much liberty with their faith. In the video, women in colorful headscarves pranced through forests, hopscotched along curbs and ledges, and skateboarded in high heels to the backdrop of American rapper Jay- Z’s “Somewhere in America“ [...]

2014-07-20 17:13

The emotional involvement behind social media interactions

  Arriving home after a long day at the office spent almost entirely in front of the computer, you take off your shoes, make yourself a drink and, ironically, sit in front of your computer again. It’s incredible how many of us choose to communicate with others through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter [...]

2014-07-20 10:03

LinkedIn buys Newsle to keep better tabs on your contacts for you

  LinkedIn wants to overtake Twitter and Facebook as executives’ social news service of choice. On Monday the business-orientated social network added to its news arsenal, acquiring people-centric news aggregator Newsle to bolster its burgeoning media business. A LinkedIn spokesman declined to comment on financial terms of the deal but he confirmed that the company [...]

2014-07-17 15:30

Math behind the money

  During my two and a half years at RBBi and throughout my 15-year career before that, I have seen that several clients tend to skip the most important phases of product development – be it for a website, mobile app, consumer product or service design – let alone the usability and user experience (UX) [...]

2014-07-17 15:17

Marketers still struggling to get results from content marketing

Despite widespread increases in content-marketing budgets, b-to-b marketers are still struggling to translate their content-marketing efforts into actual businesses results, according to a new study conducted by Forrester in conjunction with the Business Marketing Association and and the Online Marketing Institute. Just over half – 51% – of marketers told Forrester their content marketing efforts [...]

2014-07-17 14:42

Conflict of interests

  Last year, Pepsi’s three-minute “Let’s Come Together” film for Ramadan was not only among the longest ads released in the Middle East for the Holy Month – with, presumably, a budget to match – but also the most watched video on YouTube outside of and in the MENA region, having clocked up close to [...]

2014-07-17 12:03

Top 10 online trending bytes

Online journal shares the latest digital, web and user insights, along with social media news, with Communicate Levant. Deep linking: how Facebook is changing the future of apps Deep linking is a very complex procedure that lets you open an app from another one without going to the home screen. Facebook just made it [...]

2014-07-17 10:57

PHD Dubai promotes digital expert to general manager

  PHD, the media agency network part of Omnicom Media Group, has recently promoted its group director and head of digital, Luca Allam, to the position of general manager of its Dubai office. The appointment was made in recognition of his efforts in positioning PHD at the digital forefront and his significant contribution to the [...]

2014-07-16 17:33

Apple, IBM strike deal to go after mobile enterprise market

  Apple and IBM, once foes in the personal-computer market, announced on Tuesday that they are working together on the next wave of technology for mobile devices that taps into large pools of corporate data. The deal is expected to make Apple an even more serious player in the enterprise market. The companies will develop [...]

2014-07-16 15:27

Net returns

  Opening digital conference ArabNet 2014, which was held from June 3 to 5 at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm, Omar Christidis, the ArabNet hub’s founder and CEO, set the scene for a three-day discussion on monetization opportunities for the MENA region’s digital ecosystem, entrepreneurs and agencies. Talking about the progress the UAE government has made [...]

2014-07-16 14:46

Second becomes first at the FIFA World Cup

  It occurred to me when I was in Brazil for the World Cup that when the 2010 tournament kicked off in South Africa, the iPad was just a couple of months old. Apple has shifted more than 200 million tablets since then and the second-screen experience is now the norm.  By the time Mario [...]

2014-07-16 12:17

BuzzFeed considers 2015 Middle East expansion

BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment website best known for its pictures of cats, wants to expand into the Middle East with the launch of an Arabic website. Launched in 2006, the United States website, which is steadily increasing its hard news content, has already launched UK, Australia, France, Brazil and Español (Spanish) editions. Since November [...]

2014-07-15 15:10

Samsung launches video on demand app, Shahid

Samsung partnered with MBC Group to announce, on June 26, the launch of Shahid application, the region’s first VOD service. MBC Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab world, and Shahid app and are currently available for viewers to enjoy whatever they missed on TV. Approximately 284 million media [...]

2014-07-15 13:41

VivaKi’s Social TV weekly update

The power of social media continues to loom large over the Middle East’s television industry, especially throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan. We previously delved into the importance of leveraging social media chatter – surrounding the region’s top Ramadan TV programmes – to create agile marketing operations and deliver real-time, meaningful content to consumers. And, when [...]

2014-07-15 12:51

Dentsu Aegis Network introduces ICUC

  Dentsu Aegis Network consolidates its presence in the regional communications space by introducing ICUC  – its global agency offering social media moderation & social media management services. ICUC provides content moderation, community management and reporting insights to support brands’ digital media strategies. ICUC moderates the social media space by including user-generated content, online chats [...]

2014-07-15 11:33 sees 200 percent increase in applications

  Regional digital incubator and accelerator has received over 150 applications for its second round intake in Dubai. Applications were received from 29 countries from as far afield as Brazil, China and Sudan. Egyptian entrepreneurs submitted the highest number of ideas, followed by those from the UAE and Bahrain., which is currently incubating [...]

2014-07-14 14:37

du introduces video retail to its shops

  UAE telco operator du has introduced its Video Retail Support system in nine of its shops across the UAE, giving walk-in customers the opportunity to interact with its service experts through a video conferencing system. Commenting on the launch of the system, Ismail Mohammed, senior VP of customer operations at du, says: “As part [...]

2014-07-14 13:05

Mindshare launches global wearable technology unit

  WPP‘s global media agency Mindshare has set up a global wearable technology group called Life+ to help brands take advantage of the nascent technology. Life+ will be headed by Jeff Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare North America, and is designed to help brands understand the opportunity that wearable technology presents, whilst ensuring [...]

2014-07-14 12:44

Suzan Kazzi appointed communications manager at Al-Futtaim Motors

  Having joined GMASCO – Al-Futtaim Group‘s marketing communications arm  - three and a half years ago as senior PR manager on Al-Futtaim Motors‘ PR activities pertaining to Toyota, Lexus and Hino, Suzan Kazzi has now moved to Al-Futtaim Motors as communications manager. In her new role, Kazzi will develop and deploy Al-Futtaim Motors’ corporate communication [...]

2014-07-14 12:01


  In today’s day and age, it is safe to assume that no media and marketing business model will survive without digitization, which reduces the cost of production and distribution, enabling most businesses to establish direct consumer to business relationships.  To understand what digital innovations mean for large traditional companies, we first need to look [...]

2014-07-13 12:00

Criteo’s AD-X Tracking tool to work with Twitter

  Global digital performance advertising company Criteo  has announced that its in-app measurement solution, AD-X Tracking, is working with Twitter as part of the Mobile App Promotion program. The partnership will see Criteo developing a custom measurement solution for tracking mobile app install campaigns. “Initial results during the beta period have been very strong for mobile performance [...]

2014-07-13 11:30

MRM//McCann bags Ecco’s regional digital account

  McCann Worldgroup’s digital arm, MRM//McCann, has won the digital media brief for youth-focused shoe brand Ecco. Effective immediately, MRM//McCann will be responsible for all of Ecco’s digital production throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as the Danish footwear giant looks to make inroads into the region and grow its market share. Ecco’s regional headquarters [...]

2014-07-13 09:30

Six cringeworthy blunders brands make in China

  China is a land of opportunity for brands. It’s also prime territory for cross-cultural pitfalls, and many big companies have stumbled here. For your edification (and summer reading enjoyment) here are a few of the more noteworthy blunders: Lost-in-translation slogans and product names KFC, China’s most successful fast-food restaurant, reportedly goofed years ago when [...]

2014-07-10 11:09

Embedded with Adidas’ social media team at the World Cup in Rio

  At 5 pm on the Fourth of July, forty-odd members of Team Adidas were watching the kick-off of the Colombia vs. Brazil quarterfinal match on three flat screens from Adidas’ real-time marketing hub in Rio de Janeiro. A fourth screen tracked the most searched players among the 100 or so World Cup athletes Adidas [...]

2014-07-09 15:21

Har Properties launches its latest project Allée Des Arts

In collaboration with advertising and public relations agency Lowe Pimo, Lebanese real estate company Har Properties launched on June 19 its latest project Allée Des Arts in the heart of Gemmayze. Allée Des Arts’ concept gives a unique space for living and business set amid a green and artistic environment; at the heart of the [...]

2014-07-09 14:33

YouTube MENA Leaderboard June 2014

  The explosive growth of YouTube around the globe has made it a powerful medium for brands to bring original and engaging campaigns to life reaching global audiences, including right here in MENA. Google has decided to share the best practices of creativity with Communicate through the Youtube Ads Leaderboard. The Leaderboard is a list [...]

2014-07-09 14:16

TRACCS ranks among top five PR agencies in Asia-Pacific by The Holmes Report

    Regional PR network TRACCS has been ranked among the top five PR agencies in the Asia-Pacific region by the Holmes Report in its World PR Report 2014 – a global listing of PR consultancies released yesterday. TRACCS took the fifth spot in the regional rankings of Asia-Pacific agencies, posting a 22.6 percent growth [...]

2014-07-08 16:32

New appointments in MENA’s digital circles

Chadi Saab, digital media manager at Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), has been promoted to digital director of the Dubai office. Saab has been with SMG since 2007 and held his previous role for approximately four years. While Jamal Ahmad moved from UM, where he was handling L’oreal as senior digital account executive, to OMD as digital [...]

2014-07-08 15:39

Seven Media makes new announcements

  PR and media agency Seven Media has announced several new client wins and recruits. The agency has bagged the accounts of Yas Marina Circuit, Hult Business school and Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI, its current clients including the Manchester City Football Club, Image Nation, Al Ain Football Club and the Canadian University of Dubai, [...]

2014-07-08 15:33

Etihad Airways partners with Google for flight search

  Airline Etihad Airways keeps pushing on digital, recently announcing a partnership with Google to make it more convenient for travelers to view the airline’s flight schedules and fares on the search engine’s Flight Search tool. Using Flight Search, travelers in the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Ireland [...]

2014-07-08 15:10

VivaKi’s Social TV weekly update

  Brands have long recognized the value of word of mouth and its powerful ability to influence and alter people’s behavior and choices. Adequately measuring its impact, however, has always been a challenge; still, it is a necessary tool that can significantly help shape a brand’s messaging and media planning. Today, with the emergence of the ‘social living [...]

2014-07-07 16:12

Google launches integrated Ramadan hub

  Just a day before Ramadan, Google launched its integrated Ramadan hub in 22 domains including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, amongst others, across three continents. The hub is an integration of Google’s key services such as Google Maps, Hangouts, Calendar and the recent note-keeping application, Google Keep. In this day [...]

2014-07-07 15:28

Eat, pray, socialize

  Ramadan, the most important month on the Islamic calendar, is characterized by communal iftars or special evening meals. Muslims across the globe participate in the iftars enthusiastically, spurring a spike in consumer spending during this time – especially in the food and beverage (F&B) industry. Economic studies, data analysis and experts opined that Saudi [...]

2014-07-07 14:42

Noor Bank appoints new head of marketing and corporate communication

  Noor Bank (Noor) last week announced the appointment of Paul Mampilli as head of marketing and corporate communication. In his role, Mampilli is responsible for driving Noor’s visibility among key market segments and stakeholders. He is also mandated to raise the brand profile of Noor Investment Group and associate companies, to strengthen and develop [...]

2014-07-06 12:38

The Brand Leaders to provide an interactive industry platform in the Middle East

  The Brand Leaders, a platform compiling opinions and research from marketing and PR professionals across the region – and which has recently launched its Arabic version – is a concept originally created by global communication group, YoungNetwork Group. “It is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and since the first project [...]

2014-07-06 12:13

SnappCard pushes move on mobile loyalty platforms in the region

  Powered by Snapp, a digital loyalty platform allowing customers to earn points for purchases from their favorite venues directly on their phone, SnappCard is a mobile loyalty and customer engagement app that offers users to also connect and share their favorite brands.  ”[It also allows] merchants to implement and execute a sophisticated loyalty program that gives [...]

2014-07-06 11:25

Google is being forced to censor the history of Merrill Lynch — and that should terrify you

  The European Union’s new law giving people a “right to be forgotten,” which requires Google to remove links to information about them, is having exactly the effect its critics predicted: it is censoring the internet, giving new tools that help the rich and powerful (and ordinary folk) hide negative information about them, and letting criminals make [...]

2014-07-06 10:32

Nike shares social media numbers around its World Cup presence

  With its competitor Adidas being the official World Cup 2014 sponsor, Nike, which sponsors ten teams at the tournament, and over 50 percent of the boots worn on pitch , is sharing the figures on its social media presence during the month-long football bonanza. Followers for Nike’s football channels (namely Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) [...]

2014-07-05 22:04

GMASCO and Toyota collaborate on ‘Upgrade Specialist’ Ramadan campaign

  Through a series of online films, GMASCO, the marketing communications arm of Al Futtaim Group, under which Al Futtaim Motors is the exclusive distributor for Toyota in the region, has recently worked on the brand’s “Upgrade Specialist” above-the-line campaign for Ramadan. The films, starring regional comedian Ali Al Sayed as the ‘upgrade specialist’, aim [...]

2014-07-05 12:11

Social media to boost governmental services in the Arab World

  The steady growth of social media penetration in the Arab region is enabling better governmental and public services for citizens, according to the sixth edition of the Arab Social Media Report. The latter was recently released under the title Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media, by [...]

2014-07-05 11:51

Pepsi launches interactive gaming vending machine in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

  Among a select number of global markets for Pepsi, the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will see the roll-out of the brand’s interactive gaming vending machine, which, using motion-sensor technology, allows football fans to show off their skills throughout the World Cup 2014. Fans are challenged by the 2014 Pepsi all-star football squad – Robin van [...]

2014-07-05 10:38

#MyDubai crowdsources over a million Instagram submissions, moves to OOH platforms

  Since its launch less than six months ago, #MyDubai, an Instagram initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create Dubai’s ‘digital autobiography’, has just crossed the millionth use of its hashtag. Celebrating the milestone and showcasing a selection of #MyDubai photographs submitted to date, the Dubai International Financial [...]

2014-07-05 10:16

Al Aan relaunches its socially-focused new website

  Dubai-based pan-Arab broadcaster Al Aan TV has revamped its website to coincide with the onset of Ramadan. The newly released site features tighter integration with social media, an expanded network of regional reporters, and a new user interface. According to the channel’s chief editor Samer Hamza, the new site coherently fuses two of Al [...]

2014-07-03 14:34

Game changer

  The World Cup 2014 in Brazil and the run-in to the tournament have shed a new light on our industry, and the creative and executional challenges it now faces. A few years ago, the focus would have been on big budget TV executions that blew you away. Not anymore. Take Nike, which ignored all [...]

2014-07-03 14:11

Performance PR rebrands as Performance Communications

  Dubai and London-based sports and automotive PR company, Performance PR, has rebranded as Performance Communications. Founded in London in 2002, and launched in Dubai in 2010, Performance Communications offers PR, digital media relations, event organization, video services and brand partnership services, among others. The company has recently extended its reach across Europe through a network [...]

2014-07-03 12:16

Rising trend

We have all seen movies in which military pilots wear sophisticated helmets that use “target acquisition and tracking” devices; military hardware does not rely on augmented reality (AR) as we know it, but the concept’s evolution into civilian usage is evident. With smartphones becoming smarter and a growing number of companies focusing on head-mounted displays [...]

2014-06-30 12:10

CNN International names Antonio Canto as VP of regional sales

  Under the network’s regional chief commercial officer Rani Raad, Antonio Canto has joined CNN International’s commercial executive team. Canto has been assigned with building CNN’s business in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and CIS (The Commonwealth of Independent States) – key markets for CNN advertising sales. Heading up regional sales, Canto [...]

2014-06-30 10:48

Actel launches mobile payment solution in the Middle East

  Collaborating with 20-plus mobile operators in MENA as well as with online gaming merchants, regional VAS (value-added services) provider Actel (Active Telecommunications) recently announced the launch of its mobile payment solution, ActivePayments, in the Middle East. Commenting on the launch in a statement, Elie Bejjani, Actel’s CEO, said: “in an effort to fulfill our [...]

2014-06-30 10:33

Oracle buys LiveLOOK

  Oracle announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire LiveLOOK, a global provider of real-time and visual collaboration technology for co-browsing and screen sharing. “Consumers are increasingly conducting transactions across multiple digital channels such as web and mobile.  Meeting consumer demands and exceeding their expectations for web and mobile service and support will improve [...]

2014-06-30 10:20

Ubisoft releases its first mobile game out of Abu Dhabi

  twofour54, the commercial arm of Media Zone Authority  has announced that one of its key partners, Ubisoft, has released CSI: Hidden Crimes, the first mobile game developed in Abu Dhabi and aimed to appeal to a global audience. CSI: Hidden Crimes is a crime-solving game set in the world of CBS Television’s hit TV [...]

2014-06-30 10:03

Right Match

  In the Lebanese shy sports marketing environment, some local brands are still making it After the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the recent UEFA Champions League, the next and biggest sports – and ad – event of the year, is the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “Leading Lebanese and global brands know that, every [...]

2014-06-27 11:33

du launches “#30DaysofSharing” campaign for Ramadan

  Under the hashtag #30DaysofSharing, telco operator Du recently released a campaign for Ramadan across social media platforms (namely Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), asking users to share special moments with loved ones during the Holy Month . Every post made using #30DaysofSharing hashtag will see Du donate AED10 to its annual Iftar tables initiative, from [...]

2014-06-26 17:55

Talking tactics

  Football is not just a passion, but also big business in the Middle East region – with cash-rich Gulf states investing serious money in a bid to enhance their countries’ brands globally. According to Deloitte, seven out of 20 top football clubs in the world by revenue are sponsored by Middle Eastern airlines, including AC Milan (Emirates Airline) and Manchester City [...]

2014-06-25 16:36

JWT launches global scholarship program to support aspiring female creatives

  JWT Worldwide has announced an international scholarship program to assist and promote talented female creative advertising students. Named after both the industry’s and JWT’s first female copywriter, Helen Lansdowne Resor, the scholarship was launched to celebrate the agency’s 150th anniversary. Along with The New York Times, JWT hosted a panel at the Cannes Lions International [...]

2014-06-25 15:59

Desperate times, alternative measures

While Lebanon fails to lure the usual summer tourist crowds, the industry adapts to survive Five years have gone by since Lebanon topped The New York Times’ list of must-see places in 2009, while Beirut was named one of the liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet that same year. It was the summer [...]

2014-06-25 15:25

Indigo Properties appoints Blue Apple as its advertising and PR agency

  Property development company Indigo Properties has recently assigned Blue Apple as its advertising and PR agency in the UAE. Blue Apple takes up the post with immediate effect. Established in 2004, Indigo Properties is now gearing up to launch its flagship real estate project, Indigo Ze,n in Dubai Golf City, which comprises 350 villas. [...]

2014-06-25 15:08

Memac Ogilvy Dubai triumphs at 61st Cannes Lions

Memac Ogilvy Dubai became the most awarded regional agency in Cannes history as they picked up a Titanium Lion, three Gold Lions and two Silver Lions for UN Women “Autocomplete Truth” campaign and one Bronze for Rescue Radio. The Autocomplete Truth campaign for UN Women, from Memac Ogilvy Dubai, was a leading entry at the [...]

2014-06-25 13:14

Top 10 online trending bytes

Online journal shares the latest digital, web and user insights, along with social media news, with Communicate Levant. Apple helps you to confuse location trackers The NSA, Facebook, advertisers, market analysts and many more are after your MAC address. Why? Because it is a signal that your phone sends out continuously, provided your Wi-Fi [...]

2014-06-23 09:40

Starcom MediaVest Group Named Media Network of the Year at Cannes Lions Festival

  Starcom MediaVest Group was awarded Media Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Three days into the annual festival, SMG’s total across all categories includes 34 wins and 120 shortlists. The Media Network of the Year win comes as a result of SMG’s three Silvers, nine Bronzes and 14 [...]

2014-06-22 17:37

New social platform could revolutionize outdoor digital billboard advertising space

  A Dubai-based startup, Deehubs, has developed a social media platform that connects outdoor digital billboards with audiences in a power play that could deliver the advertising Holy Grail of engagement, interaction and highly targeted commercials. Digital billboard owners will be able to license software from Deehubs, enabling brands to run advertising campaigns that leverage [...]

2014-06-18 12:36

World Cup to boost global advertising market by $1.5 billion, says ZenithOptimedia

  The World Cup will help the global ad market grow 5.4 percent in 2014, up from 3.9 percent in 2013, according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report. Growth will continue to improve over the next two years, reaching 5.7 percent in 2015 and 6.1 percent in 2016, driven by continued economic recovery, including, [...]

2014-06-18 12:23

Brand slam

  What can brands lear n from Roger Federer, the greatest t en n is player of a ll time? Federer could be play ing against t he worst professional player in a grand slam final and, my guess is, the crowd wou ld still be overwhelmingly on his side. This is an unusual phenomenon, given society’s penchant for supporting underdogs. [...]

2014-06-18 12:02

On Device Research taps Ipsos’ Nader Kobeissi

  Mobile sample specialist and survey technology provider On Device Research has hired former regional director of Ipsos, Nader Kobeissi, as the managing director for its Dubai office, in charge of the MENA region. On Device Research specializes in growth market research via mobile devices. Over 17 million people in 63 countries have taken one of its [...]

2014-06-18 11:42

Memac Ogilvy Public Relations wins big at SABRE Awards

Memac Ogilvy Public Relations, the Middle Eastern operation of Ogilvy PR, enjoys an unprecedented evening of success at the tenth annual EMEA region SABRE Awards on May 20, having received the Platinum Best in Show Award and the Best Middle East Campaign for Grohe’s “Green Mosque” campaign, as well as the Best Public Education Campaign with the King Khalid [...]

2014-06-18 09:17

Al-Mawarid Bank invests in Presella under Circular 331

  In line with its plan to support the economy, Al-Mawarid Bank announces the first pilot project in Lebanon under Circular 331 put forth by Lebanon’s central bank, which aims to encourage banks to invest in start-ups in the knowledge economy sector. This initiative is part of the bank’s CSR program, entitled “YOUTHinc.”, that supports [...]

2014-06-17 16:19

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller launches Proof Integrated Communications in the Middle East

  Middle East PR consultancy ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller has further strengthened its service offering with the launch of Proof Integrated Communications, a US-based digital and design agency. Headquartered in New York with offices in Washington DC, Chicago, Pittsburg, Los Angeles, Dallas and Boston, Proof’s opening of the Dubai office marks its first outside the US. The [...]

2014-06-17 11:05

Social4ce releases infographic on MENA conversations around the World Cup 2014

  Boutique consulting firm Social4ce recently released an infographic on social media conversations around the World Cup 2014 in the MENA region, which between May 11 and June 11, stood at 258,172. During that same period, 63 percent of those conversations were in Arabic, 38 percent in English, 4 percent in French, and 3 percent [...]

2014-06-17 10:44

Cheil MENA to handle digital creative and planning for Coke Studio

  Coca-Cola Middle East has assigned creative agency Cheil MENA to handle its digital creative strategy and planning for Coke Studio. Coke Studio is a music television series that brings together established Arab and international artists to collaborate and record an original song by meshing unique genres of music in the Middle East and North [...]

2014-06-17 10:28

MMA sets creative framework for mobile marketing campaigns

  From its Mobile Center of Innovation at the Cannes Lions Festival, the Mobile Marketing Association yesterday released an interactive creative framework on how to build and execute effective mobile campaigns. The insights included are the result of an in-depth analysis of over 450 global mobile campaigns, including the winners in the MMA’s annual Smarties™ Global Mobile [...]

2014-06-17 09:44

Reva Berbari returns to the industry

After being absent for a year and a half, Reva Berbari comes back to the industry as business director at digital agency Born Interactive, effective as of June 2014. Berbari, who previously headed digital agency Cleartag’s social influence department for two years, is now managing and developing Born Interactive’s key accounts and maintaining strategic relationships.

2014-06-17 09:15

Visa launches its activation program for the FIFA World Cup in the Middle East

  Visa, FIFA’s exclusive financial services partner for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, shared its global FIFA World Cup activation program across the Middle East, which is aimed at enhancing the sporting experience for millions of fans, clients and partners in 104 countries worldwide. The activation program features film and print spots starring Nobel [...]

2014-06-16 11:29

BPG | bates works on re-launch campaign for First Gulf Bank

  Advertising, events and activation, and design agency BPG | bates has created a new platform for its longstanding client, First Gulf Bank, as part of the latter’s re-launch as FGB. Called  ”Be first”, and brought to life with an integrated campaign using TV, Cinema, OOH (out-of-home), press and digital, the platform works on the core [...]

2014-06-16 11:20

The Holmes Report and TRACCS organize roundtable on regional PR industry

  The public relations industry in the MENA region has reached a level of maturity that matches global practices, but must prepare to operate with greater innovation, concluded communications experts at a roundtable recently organized in Dubai on the state of the regional communications industry. Communications experts and senior executives from Middle Eastern companies including [...]

2014-06-16 11:04

PHD UAE gets IPA-accredited

  PHD, part of the Omnicom Media Group, has partnered with the UK’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) to localize and adapt its professional education material and examination for Middle East media professionals. PHD’s are the first media agency executives to take and successfully pass the exam to secure the IPA’s Foundation Certificate. The [...]

2014-06-16 10:45

Eyes on the ball

  The FIFA World Cup comprises eight groups with 32 teams playing 64 games over 30 days. There is a total of 5,760 minutes of football playing time – excluding the nerve-shredding extra time and penalty shoot-outs in the knock-out stages. Since a large proportion of this year’s World Cup coincides with Ramadan, with most of the matches during this time scheduled [...]

2014-06-15 12:10

FP7/DXB wins Arla Food’s creative business in the MENA region

  FP7/DXB has successfully pitched for Danish dairy cooperative Arla Food’s creative advertising account, following a multi-agency pitch process. The agency competed against some of the regions’ largest multinational networks for the business. Effective from 1 July, FP7/DXB will oversee the through-the-line communications for Arla Food’s four main brands – Arla, Lurpak, Castello and Dano [...]

2014-06-15 11:20

TechAccess and iVEDIX partner for mobile analytics platform in the region

  iVEDiX, a business intelligence company that specializes in mobile solutions, is announcing an international partnership with IT and technology distributor TechAccess (TA) – which operates in 17-plus countries across the Middle East, Levant and North Africa.  According to iVEDiX, this partnership is focused on providing top-quality mobile analytics solutions to the region through the [...]

2014-06-14 17:35

Multillect launches educational app Harakat

  Multillect, a Dubai-based technology company that specializes in creating multimedia solutions and developing tools for accurate translation, has launched educational app Harakat. The app automatically places diacritics in Arabic text according to the rules of grammar, syntax, morphology, allowing learn Arabic. Following its immediate launch, Harakat was rated as one of the leading educational [...]

2014-06-14 17:22

E-commerce sees record of 43 percent in Saudi Arabia, says Visa

  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has registered a record overall growth of 43 percent in e-commerce in Q1 of 2014 compared to the same period last year, making it the highest growth rate in the MENA region, according to estimates by Visa. The overall growth was driven by increases in both domestic and [...]

2014-06-12 16:12

Majlis PR and Events launches ORLY International in Dubai

  Majlis PR and Events has been appointed recently as the PR agency for the official launch of ORLY International’s latest 2014 nail lacquer collection in the UAE. Fadi Sawaya, CEO of Sawaya International, the exclusive distributor of ORLY nail products in the Middle East, said in a statement: “The Majlis team did impressive work, [...]

2014-06-12 16:02

Pencell PR wins the Al Khayyat Investments account

  Dubai-based group, Al Khayyat Investments, recently announced Pencell PR & Events as its official PR partner. As part of this liaison, Pencell PR & Events will handle all aspects of PR for the following brands under the Group: BinSina Pharmacy , Holland & Barrett, La Martina, Superdry, Petit Bateau, Fortnum & Mason, BurgerFuel, Nar, [...]

2014-06-12 15:48

Etihad Airways flights to show every World Cup game live

  Passengers on board Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, can enjoy every FIFA World Cup football match ‘live’ on all of the air carrier’s long haul aircraft during the month long tournament, said the airline in a statement today. All 64 games will be transmitted live at 30,000 feet on the airline’s [...]

2014-06-12 15:37

JWT Dubai works on Atlantis The Palm’s “Check Into Another World” campaign

  As part of Atlantis The Palm, Dubai’s first integrated brand campaign, “Check Into Another World”, JWT Dubai has rolled out a print and ambient phase for press and airports in the GCC and UK countries. The 13 individual print executions feature visual stories around the resort’s key business units.  Those include the 42-acre waterpark, Dolphin [...]

2014-06-12 15:21

Socialbakers releases UAE social marketing report for May 2014

    International social media monitoring and analytics platform Socialbakers has released its social marketing report for the month of May 2014. The report shows that the average number of Facebook fans for the top 20 brands in the UAE equaled 248,333, while the average number of Twitter followers equaled 54,563 (compared to 218,972 Facebook [...]

2014-06-12 10:16

SMG Mobility holds M-LEAP event

  On 5 June, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) hosted an internal event at its Dubai headquarters entitled M-LEAP – an initiative by the SMG Mobility department aimed at pushing mobile thinking. The initiative was attended by over 50 SMG employees, comprising both senior and junior digital and traditional media specialists, as well as representatives from [...]

2014-06-12 09:42

Shifting views

  The switchover from traditional TV to online video consumption has been creeping up on the industry for some time now, with online advertising pundits referring to 2013 as “the year of video”. As a result, the demands of brands and agencies toward production houses across the Middle East are also evolving. On one hand, traditional TV advertising is what is known [...]

2014-06-11 15:23

History lessons

  Alongside Rayan Karaky – now agency head at Google MENA and previously chief digital officer at Starcom Mediavest Group MENA – Mohammad Itani, general manager at Middle East Communication Network’s (MCN) digital arm Platform5, and Dimitri Metaxas, managing director MENA at Omnicom Media Group’s Resolution Media, Ali Jaber probably felt like the odd – and old – one out in the Digital [...]

2014-06-11 12:29

Volvo Lebanon launches Project Only the Lonely

Volvo Lebanon, in collaboration with advertising agency Interesting Times, launched a social initiative “Project Only the Lonely” last month, based on various comic, yet sad, realities of the daily lives of Lebanese citizens. The social experiment introduces Mr. Lonely, “the face of the real minority in this country,” says creative director and partner at Interesting [...]

2014-06-11 11:31

Time travelers

  Under the theme “Innovation at the Intersection of Media, Technology and Design”, STEP – a media, technology and design platform for creatives, influencers and technophiles in the MENA region – conducted the third edition of its annual conference on April 30 at Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue. The choice of an underground and unfussy venue was not without reason, as STEP organizers had [...]

2014-06-11 10:54

Cheil Worldwide partners with Samsung stage Galaxy 11 campaign

It was November 2013 when mysterious circles and strange hooded men were spotted on football fields in major cities around the world. The mysterious figures turned out to be aliens, challenging the world to the galactic war. Since then, the legendary footballer Franz Beckenbauer has been charged to lead a planet-defending team “Galaxy 11”, whose [...]

2014-06-11 10:28

Facebook introduces tools for fans to interact with the World Cup

  Facebook has introduced new features for fans to interact with the World Cup on its platform. They include a new experience called Trending World Cup and a character called “The Ref” that the network launched two days ago. Trending World Cup is  a dedicated hub for fans on Facebook to follow the tournament as it unfolds. It features [...]

2014-06-11 10:21

JWT Cairo appoints Abdelsalam Abdelsalam as ECD

  JWT announced today the appointment of award-winning Abdelsalam Abdelsalam as executive creative director in Cairo.  Abdelsalam will support and develop the agency’s creative output including that of the new Ethos at JWT company, JWT Entertainment and JWT Experience offerings. Abdelsalam brings 10 years of experience in the creative field and numerous creative accolades to [...]

2014-06-09 16:02

Agency 222 appoints Fadi El Chamaa as chief creative officer

  Qatar-based integrated marketing and communications agency Agency 222 announced yesterday the appointment of Fadi ElChamaa as Chief Creative Officer (CCO). In his role, ElChamaa will be responsible for developing creative talent across markets and leading work work for the agency’s entire client portfolio. Announcing the appointment, Hussein Fakhri, CEO at Agency 222 said in [...]

2014-06-09 10:17

BMW first to use DOOH screen at DIFC to launch its i8 sportscar

  Elevision Media, which owns and operates the LED screen at the DIFC, will be supporting the launch of the new BMW i8 with a campaign tailored to the recently launched digital screen that targets an audience of affluent professionals. The LED screen was installed in May and is the longest Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) space [...]

2014-06-08 11:54

Health care

  It’s always nice to see brand campaigns break, or to take a new brand to market. It’s possibly the go-to option for most marketing challenges faced, and it gives marketing professionals something to put on their CV as a demonstration of what they do for a day job. The proud presentation of optimal reach [...]

2014-06-08 11:00

Social communications agency 1000heads opens in Dubai

  Social Communications agency 1000heads has expanded its global presence with new premises in Dubai. The agency’s MEA headquarters will service existing and new clients across the region. Sitting alongside offices in London, New York, Sydney and Berlin, the newest opening augments 1000heads’ international network of round-the-clock support for its global client base. 1000heads has worked with a roster [...]

2014-06-06 11:08

twofour54 launches online platform to promote creative community

  twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, today launched an online platform to enable the region’s creative community to collaborate and find new opportunities. “This bi-lingual platform is an instant network for the creative industries and this tool is the bridge that will connect our broad talent pool with the region’s creative community” said in [...]

2014-06-05 16:00

Criteo launches advertising prediction engine based on actual purchase behavior

  Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), a global technology company that specializes in digital performance advertising, yesterday announced the roll-out of significant technical enhancements to its proprietary prediction and recommendation engine, The Criteo Engine, after more than three years in the making. The new technology enables Criteo to decide whether to buy each ad impression based on the likelihood [...]

2014-06-05 12:48

Yahoo introduces to the MENA market native advertising offering

  Yahoo has introduced a new native advertising format for the MENA market, Yahoo Stream Ads. Rolling out today and over the coming weeks, the new format will be available on both the Arabic and English regional homepages and across desktop, tablet and mobile. Yahoo Stream Ads, designed to be delivered in the right context [...]

2014-06-05 12:10

JWT names Matt Eastwood worldwide chief creative officer

  Gustavo Martinez, global president at JWT, announced yesterday that Matt Eastwood has been appointed as the network’s worldwide chief creative officer. Eastwood will join JWT in mid-July and report to Martinez. Eastwood, 46, joins JWT from DDB, where he was chief creative 0fficer at the New York office. Eastwood has overseen several recognizable creative projects in advertising, including [...]

2014-06-04 16:17

Spark* wins Harley-Davidson account

  Dubai-based creative agency Spark* has won HARLEY-DAVIDSON’s Middle East marketing account. The agency, which forms part of the Publinet Group, scooped the creative counsel of brand following a competitive pitch that saw off four other agencies. “We are delighted to have won the HARLEY-DAVIDSON® account, which is not only the most evocative name in [...]

2014-06-04 16:07

Discovery communications completes acquisition of controlling interest in Eurosport International

  Discovery Communications  today announced the completion of its acquisition of a controlling interest in sports entertainment group Eurosport International. Discovery increased its interest in Eurosport to 51 percent from 20 percent as part of a larger strategic partnership with TF1 Group that began in December 2012. Discovery was one of the first US media [...]

2014-06-04 15:22

Lebanon Chapter celebrates IAA’s diamond jubilee

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the International Advertising Association (IAA), the IAA Lebanon Chapter celebrated the diamond jubilee with a black-tie gala dinner, which was held in tribute to Antoine Choueiri, founder of the Choueiri Group, on May 23. More than 250 advertising professionals from Lebanon and the wider region gathered at [...]

2014-06-04 10:10

UAE startup enables businesses to harness the power of the crowd

  Task Spotting FZ-LLC, a Dubai-based tech startup launched today a platform that leverages the concept of crowdsourcing to help companies improve their retail performance.  Karim Aly, CEO and co-founder of Task Spotting describes it as “a simple way to connect businesses looking to get real-time market information with smartphone users who are ready and [...]

2014-06-04 10:00

The 5th Edition of the ArabNet Digital Summit Kicks off in Dubai

  The 5th edition of the ArabNet Digital Summit 2014 kicked off this morning at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai. Held with the Strategic Partnership of Digital Media Services (DMS), the conference drew in more than 1,000 participating digital professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, advertising agencies, and media, along with its 110 international and regional expert speakers, [...]

2014-06-03 17:28

Lebanese high school student launches successful iPhone app

A young Lebanese high school student Sam Ghobril’s new iPhone application – Mingle – hits the first place in Apple’s App Store in Lebanon, just few hours after its launch on April 30. The app allows users to connect with their contacts faster and easier. It starts by displaying a list of iPhone contacts with [...]

2014-06-03 12:43

Tuning in

Radio is the best-equipped media to face the changes induced by the digital revolution. Radio was the first mass communication tool created by man and it’s also the media least affected by technological changes. First developed in 1893 and having reached its heydays in the 1920s, radio could have been heavily affected by the invention [...]

2014-06-02 11:43

McCann Health wins two Rx Club Awards

  McCann Health, full-service healthcare communications agency, recently won an RX Club Award for “Lung Cancervive campaign”, a campaign its has done for Lilly Saudi Arabia, which aims at improving communication and cooperation among lung cancer management experts across the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The Rx Club Show awards creativity in healthcare campaigns of Excellence The campaign used [...]

2014-06-02 10:42

Ooredoo Launches global campaign with Leo Messi

  Ooredoo has launched its first-ever global communication campaign with brand ambassador Leo Messi, as the company reaches out to football fans and social media enthusiasts across its footprint in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The campaign includes an international commercial featuring the football skills of Leo Messi and a host of young [...]

2014-06-02 10:27

Facebook releases infographic on Ramadan

  In MENA, Facebook is a constant companion for mobile users throughout Ramadan, whether they’re using it while watching TV or simply accessing the platform during prime time hours, says a recent infographic by the social network. In fact, according to IPSOS, 77 percent of Facebook’s 30.3 million monthly users in the UAE, KSA and [...]

2014-06-02 10:20

Sanjay Raina appointed as Middle East GM at FOX International Channels

  FOX International Channels (FIC) Middle East has appointed Sanjay Raina to the position of General Manager for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. Raina joins FOX with a rich history in the broadcast industry, with specialties in product strategy, content planning, and broadcast operations. Raina replaces Rohit D’Silva, who has been re-appointed to [...]

2014-06-02 09:22

Publicis Middle East appoints new regional executive creative director

  Publicis Middle East has announced a change in leadership in its creative department. After 34 years of service, Hatch Basmadijan and Publicis Middle East have agreed to part ways, with Alex Brunori announced as Publicis’ new Regional Executive Creative Director. Maher Abouzeid, group GM – Lower Gulf, Publicis Middle East, said in a statement: [...]

2014-06-02 09:16

App Annie acquires Distimo and raises new investment round

  Mobile app analytics and monitoring platform App Annie has acquired Distimo, a fast-growing company in the mobile analytics space. The acquisition will see the launch and development of new features, platforms and products that will allow users to deepen the analysis of their apps and their marketplace. As part of the acquisition, Distimo’s founders [...]

2014-06-02 08:54

Back in their day

  Jacques Seguela, Havas Worldwide’s vice-chairman and one of the industry’s longest standing admen, is about to embark on his fifth career in the industry. “Our ad industry has the extraordinary opportunity to transform into a different one every ten years. My first [career] was in the ’50s and ’60s, when the likes of [French [...]

2014-06-01 09:55

Relativity and B4U announce joint venture in India

  Entertainment and production studio Relativity Media and B4U, a leading Bollywood film and television network whose major shareholders include Lakshmi Mittal, Kishore Lulla, and Gokul Binani, announced a new joint venture that will leverage their combined expertise, relationships and resources to create and distribute entertainment and sports content in India that will span a [...]

2014-05-31 14:37

Procter & Gamble Named Third Best Employer in Middle East and Africa

  Procter & Gamble Near-East organization has been named as the third best employer in the Middle East and Africa by Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc. P&G was the top manufacturer, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company and third overall in Aon Hewitt’s fourth Best Employers of [...]

2014-05-31 12:38

octOpus wins Bronze at the 20th Summit Creative Award

  The Summit International Awards has honored octOpus Advertising with a Bronze at the 2014 Summit Creative Awards. The 20th annual creative competition was held in Oregon, US. Out of more than 5,000 submissions from 24 countries, Dubai-based octOpus was recognized for its creative work on the Indoogoo website under the B2B Service Website category. Indoogoo [...]

2014-05-31 11:58

CNN gears up for World Cup

  CNN International has announced several upgrades for its TV, web and mobile platforms for real time and live coverage of the 2014 World Cup. The network’s coverage will include live programming from Brazil, feature programming from around the world, and online initiatives that will bring audiences up to the minute reaction and analysis from all [...]

2014-05-31 11:32

Adidas launches “All or Nothing” campaign in the Middle East for the World Cup

With only 18 days to go to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, Adidas kicked off its final countdown to the world’s largest single-sport event; having been in the making for years, the brand’s “All in or nothing” campaign is the biggest to be launched by adidas, the official partner and supplier to the World Cup. adidas [...]

2014-05-30 21:48

Mindshare UAE and KSA announce new appointments

Mindshare, which is part of WPP, has announced two changes to Mindshare’s management in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: Rabih Khouri has been appointed as managing director of Mindshare KSA, and Mazen Fakhoury was reallocated from the KSA office to lead Mindshare UAE. Both Khouri and Fakhoury have a wealth of experience working [...]

2014-05-29 10:51

OMG named lead media agency for H.J. Heinz

  Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc, has been named the lead media agency for H.J. Heinz, winning media planning and buying for all international markets excluding North America. The assignment represents approximately 70% of the estimated Heinz media investments. The win follows a six-month review aimed at consolidating Heinz media business, which [...]

2014-05-27 14:56

National Geographic Abu Dhabi launches ‘I am Nat Geo Photographer’

  Rolling out one of National Geographic Channels’ global formats in the region, National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) has launched reality show ‘I Am Nat Geo Photographer’ in the region. Shot entirely in the UAE with Nikon as presenting sponsor, the show premiered on National Geographic Abu Dhabi on May 21, with episodes to air at [...]

2014-05-27 14:45

Lebanon’s president grants Edmond Moutran the National Order of the Cedar medal

President of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman, represented by state minister for administrative development, Nabil De Freige, has presented Edmond Moutran, chairman and CEO of Memac Ogilvy MENA, with the National Order of the Cedar medal with the Rank of Knight in recognition of his contributions to advancing the reputation of Lebanon in the world, reducing the Lebanese youth [...]

2014-05-26 19:38

Memac Ogilvy celebrates victory at The One Show 2014

Memac Ogilvy wins big at the 41st edition of The One Show in New York, with Ramzi Moutran, creative director at Memac Ogilvy Dubai, being named number one creative director internationally. Memac Ogilvy also ranks number three within the advertising category, as well as number 13 overall. “I am extremely honoured to receive this award. [...]

2014-05-26 18:04

Lebanese educator wins at Microsoft Education Global Forum 2014

As part of Microsoft’s investments into youth and education, the corporation organizes the Education Global Forum every year, bringing together innovative educators, forward-thinking schools and industry experts by providing them a platform to learn from each other and make the changes required to help students develop the skills needed to compete in the global marketplace. [...]

2014-05-26 16:09

The IAA UAE chapter holds second session of its debates series

  The second session of the IAA Debates was held at the IAA premises on May 18, with industry leaders presenting their views on the subject:“Who Should Lead: Media or Brand Agencies?” The panel, which was made up of industry leaders, Tarek Miknas, CEO at FP7; John Antoniades, CEO at Starcom Mediavest Group; and, Fadi [...]

2014-05-26 15:57

Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) elects new president

  Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), a global network of independent public relations agencies, has elected Uwe Schmidt, CEO and co-owner of Industrie-Contact (IC AG) in Hamburg, Germany as its new president. Schmidt will lead the worldwide network of 47 independently owned firms on six continents, including Dubai-based The Content Factory (TCF) – which represents [...]

2014-05-26 15:45

Art Directors Club announces Portfolio Night All-Stars in partnership with JWT

  ADC (Art Directors Club) announced last week the launch of Portfolio Night All-Stars in partnership with JWT. The program will select one young creative from each Portfolio Night location and bring them to New York for a creative competition in August 2014. Portfolio Night is the foundation that Portfolio Night All-Stars is built upon. [...]

2014-05-26 15:34

Google ranks as BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand

Google has overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable global brand in the 2014 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking, worth $159 billion, an increase of 40 percent year on year.  The BrandZTop 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, is now in its [...]

2014-05-26 09:53

Ketchum releases study on effective leadership and communication

Women leaders are performing far better than men on almost every one of the key attributes identified as being the most critical to effective leadership, according to the third annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM), a global study which polled 6,509 people in 13 countries across five continents for their views on effective leadership, effective [...]

2014-05-22 13:53

Intigral appoints VP of digital

  Digital agency Intigral has promoted Juan Jose de la Torre to VP of Digital to drive forward its growth across mobile, web, payments and new business. De La Torre, previously VP of strategy, technology and operations at Intigral, will lead the development of digital products while will continuing to build on the success of [...]

2014-05-22 13:42

Cheil MENA releases report on shopping trends in the Middle East

    Cheil MENA has released a report titled Shopper Powers Trends 2014 Middle East, mapping out eight trends that will shape shopping in the region. The trends include omni-chaneling, which allows shoppers to experience a brand seamlessly across channels; windows of dreams, whereby retailers use sight, sound and motion in their stores to nurture [...]

2014-05-22 12:24

Communicate magazine launches augmented reality app

  Communicate Magazine has officially launched its augmented reality app C+ by Communicate with the release of its May issue. The magazine’s print edition will now be enriched with video and interactive content, with three sections of the magazine now being fixture augmented pages in video format; the regional news print pages have been narrowed [...]

2014-05-21 11:12

Top 10 online trending bytes

Online journal shares with Communicate Levant the latest digital, web and user insights, along with social media news   Etihad Airways takes the first class to new heights Traveling by air can be tiresome, even when you’re in first class. However, Etihad’s Residence, its new and posh on-board suite offering, has won the appreciation [...]

2014-05-20 17:49

Initiative appoints new managing director for its UAE operations

  Initiative MENA has announced that it has appointed a new managing director for its UAE operations. The regional media communications network says that Raffoul Mattar, formerly managing director, Initiative Abu Dhabi, is taking up the role with immediate effect, dividing his time and responsibilities between the organization’s offices in the UAE capital and Dubai. [...]

2014-05-20 14:19

ArabNet Digital Summit 2014 explores the region’s e-commerce trends

    The Middle East is among the most dynamic regions embracing online shopping, the highest being the UAE, where around 51 percent (1) of people are shopping online. The industry is growing exponentially, with a reported 30 million (2) people in the Middle East shopping online, and the market is expected to grow to $15 [...]

2014-05-20 14:13

DMS signs exclusive partnership with rich media specialist Screen-it By Strategies

  Digital Media Services (DMS), which serves as the digital arm of Choueiri Group recently announced its exclusive partnership with Screen-it By Strategies, a Dubai-based rich media and digital brand experience specialist. The tie-up focuses on offering DMS’ clients creative and executive expertise in crafting rich media campaigns. Screen-it By Strategies offers a distinct approach [...]

2014-05-19 14:52

Geometry Global launches Middle East Operation

  Complete activation agency WPP agency Geometry Global – born out of the merger between brand activation agency G2, OgilvyAction and JWTAction - today celebrated its official launch across the Middle East with an exclusive event for key stakeholders and senior clients at The Address, Downtown Dubai. A significant step towards expanding the Europe, Middle East [...]

2014-05-19 14:43

Aldar Academies appoints Face to Face to lead strategic and creative campaign

  Face to Face announced its successful win of the Aldar Academies account, following a rigorous and competitive pitch process. Face to Face has developed an overall integrated communications campaign idea to build awareness of and reinforce Aldar Academies’ educational proposition in the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain markets and support the individual schools’ communications [...]

2014-05-19 10:20

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller CEO honored with SABRE Award

Sunil John, founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, MENACOM Group’s public relations consultancy, has been awarded the “SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement”, the first person from the Middle East to be honored with this global award. The SABRE Awards, which are presented by The Holmes Group, a global public relations publishing organization, acknowledged John’s [...]

2014-05-19 10:03

Intigral appoints Vice President of Digital

Intigral has announced the appointment of Juan Jose de la Torre as the company’s Vice President of Digital to drive forward Intigral’s growth across mobile, web, payments and new business. Juan Jose (J.J.),previously Vice President of Strategy, Technology and Operations at Intigral, will lead the development of digital products while continuing to build on the [...]

2014-05-18 16:33

Agency 222 bags Gold medal at The Golden Award of Montreux

  Agency 222 has won the Gold Medal at the Golden Award of Montreux Advertising Festival, a global  advertising and multimedia competition. The 26th edition of the festival took place at the Swiss resort town of Montreux on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The Golden Award of Montreux is traditionally, since 1989, the first international advertising [...]

2014-05-16 13:43

APCO Worldwide named Middle East Consultancy of the Year 2014

  APCO Worldwide, the global communication, stakeholder engagement and business strategy firm, was named Middle East Consultancy of the Year 2014 by The Holmes Report, one of the PR industry’s leading global publications, in recognition of its work for a wide range of government and private sector clients in the region. The award is given to [...]

2014-05-16 12:25

Lebanese banks compete over mobile payment services

By the end of April, three Lebanese banks – Bank Audi, Creditbank, and BLC Bank – launched, one after the other, new mobile payment services, along with their respective campaigns. The first was Bank Audi, which launched its “Tap2Pay” Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payment under the slogan “Turn your smartphone into a credit card”. [...]

2014-05-15 14:34

JWT releases report on 10 mobile trends for 2014 and beyond

  Under the title “10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond”, JWT has released its third annual report on trends in the mobile sphere, mapping out how the world of mobile connectivity is evolving The report spotlights key themes that came out of this year’s Mobile World Congress, Consumer Electronics Show and South by Southwest [...]

2014-05-15 10:42

Cultural sensitivity

  If there’s one thing that social media has enabled organizations to do, it is being transparent. With raising your company profile through presence in the digital sphere, engaging with audiences is a first step. Knowing where to refrain from engaging in certain areas is a second step. Where do you draw the line in [...]

2014-05-15 10:11

Two Lebanese Twitter accounts are TIME’s most influential

Two Lebanese Twitter accounts were featured in TIME magazine’s annual list of the 140 most influential names on Twitter: Middle East and North Africa. Photo manager for AFP, Patrick Baz, featured in the art and photography section, while Lebanese-Iraqi writer and commentator on Middle East affairs, Karl Charro, featured in the global affairs section. The [...]

2014-05-14 15:06 records 700 million page views, the regional popular online sports destination, scored 700 million page views, and attracted 22.8 million unique visitors in April 2014, beating all previous records in its 12-year history. Since January, has witnessed a 25 percent growth in online traffic. The portal, which was established in 2002, now attracts 61 percent of all views to [...]

2014-05-14 14:30

Facebook appoints head of travel and auto for the MENA region

  Facebook announced yesterday the appointment of Terry Kane as the head of travel and auto for the MENA region. Terry will work with leading players in both industries, developing tailored marketing solutions based on their individual needs.  As part of Facebook’s global team, Terry will also be well positioned to share international insights and best [...]

2014-05-14 11:00

Traffic Digital expands space and senior team

  Traffic Digital have tripled their office space by moving to Mazaya Business Avenue. The move comes at a time when Alexandra Williams and Sally Davies are both joining the company as group account directors, having previously been with Dabo PR and ITP Publishing, respectively. Dominic Gothard, CEO Traffic Group, sees these changes as a [...]

2014-05-14 10:30

Majid Al Futtaim launches its first ever integrated campaign

  Under the tagline “Great Moments”, regional shopping mall, retail and leisure giant Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), has recently launched its first integrated brand campaign in the Middle East and North Africa. Having debuted on primetime television in May, the multi-platform campaign is the company’s first comprehensive advertising effort since it unveiled a new brand direction [...]

2014-05-13 16:19

GMASCO’s head of PR releases a book

  George Kotsolios, head of PR at Al Futtaim Group’s marketing and communications agency GMASCO, has released a book under the title Back to the Future of Marketing, and in the context of the upcoming World Cup. “For a number of years, i’ve been writing short posts pertaining mainly to the PR industry, which i observed for the [...]

2014-05-13 15:31

Road junctions

  Angel investor, entrepreneur and founder of The SmartStart Fund, Prashant Gulati, has grown his share of MENA startups over the past years. He’s also grown intolerant to repetitive business concepts in the regional entrepreneurship scene – with a “What’s Not Next” list to match. The list goes something like this: “Don’t come to me and start with, ‘I’m developing an app’. [...]

2014-05-13 15:30

Smoking hot

   The second coming of tobacco marketing is pouring millions into adland, a new report confirms. Last year, the largest e-cigarette makers spent nearly $60 million combined on advertising and promotion, with marketing budgets at some e-cigarette companies growing by more than 100 percent year over year, according to a report released in April by [...]

2014-05-13 12:30

Off to the races

  Volkswagen (VW) is planning a major World Cup advertising push that will go head-to-head with that of its official automotive sponsor, Hyundai. The automaker is making a major ad buy across ESPN, ABC and Univision to tout its GTI model during the coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil this June, according to [...]

2014-05-13 09:30

Fear appeal

  Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at Pro Publica and author of Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance, discussed how, in the last year alone, she spent more than $2,000 on goods and services meant to protect her against identity theft and data mining. In effect, the [...]

2014-05-12 16:34

Hard to carry

Last month, Spanish telecom company, Telefónica, beat its competitors to the punch: it teamed up with private equity firm Blackstone to buy the technology behind MobClix, a defunct mobile ad exchange. On the surface, it’s a natural move. For mobile advertisers hungry for user data, the richest sources are the mobile carriers themselves. And, for [...]

2014-05-12 16:25

DPQ Communications wins new account

  DPQ Communications today announced they have won a new PR account, G-Star Raw UAE. The team will work closely with the brand headquarters in the Netherlands to bring new collections and stores into the UAE market. G-Star Raw has stores in various malls in Dubai and Abu Dhabi including collections in Bloomingdales.   Katie [...]

2014-05-12 12:43

Capital flaws

  The Social Network, a movie detailing the early days of peculiar, somewhat reclusive and smug Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, started an irrevocable trend in the startup world – a new generation of young entrepreneurs whose personas preceded any promise of a success story, or one of survival. The temptation to follow in Zuckerberg’s footsteps was too irresistible for even Evan Spiegel, the [...]

2014-05-12 10:59

Tight case

  In data circles, it is simply referred to as “the Octopus case”. And it’s at the center of why data protection laws in Asia are getting so tough, so fast. Consumers in Hong Kong use a payment method, called an Octopus card, to buy everything, from public transport tickets to fast food. Like the [...]

2014-05-11 17:52

Sound plans

  American marketers will again spend more on music sponsorships this year, much of it during the summer festival season that kicked off with the start of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last month in California. By the time Coachella concludes, it will have charged millions of dollars for connecting its millennial attendees with [...]

2014-05-11 17:41

New dawn

  You recently moved to Yahoo after a 30-year stint in television. What will your previous experience in broadcasting bring to Yahoo? A number of things: I have an understanding of business-to-user experiences, an appreciation of audiences – which I think is critical – but also a deep understanding of and contacts within the advertising [...]

2014-05-11 17:36

Building blocks

  The unfortunate turn of regional events during 2009 hit many real estate companies hard; most companies were unable to deliver their projects, and formed for lack of better words a negative image in the market and with investors. While some of these companies lost their position in the market – and others ceased to [...]

2014-05-11 17:31

Diplomatic immunity

   Mary Jo Jacobi was formerly the presidential advisor to Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior, and has served as the corporate director and strategist and former communications chief for BP America, HSBC and Lehman Brothers. In the upcoming Global PR Trends Summit – taking place in Doha, Qatar, on June 1 – Jacobi will, [...]

2014-05-11 17:09

Teacher’s bet

  Jonathan Wilson, senior lecturer and course leader for the Advertising & Marketing Communications Management course at the University of Greenwich, in London, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Islamic Marketing, is speaking at the Global PR Trends Summit, which is slated to take place in Doha, Qatar, on June 1. He sits down with Communicate for a chat on how communications [...]

2014-05-11 17:00

Yahoo Business Human Rights Program and Yahoo Maktoob hold the “Change Your World Amman” summit

  Yahoo’s Business and Human Rights Program and Yahoo Maktoob recently hosted the latest chapter of the “Change Your World” series: “Change Your World Amman”. The Yahoo “Change Your World” series is a global conversation that highlights women who are harnessing the power of technology and media to change the world. The first of the series took [...]

2014-05-11 13:29

ArabNet crowns the top four developers in Jordan at the Developer Tournament

  A group of young web and mobile developers gathered last Saturday at the ArabNet Developer Tournament in Jordan, the third in a series of regional tournaments for developers spanning 3 Arab countries: Lebanon, UAE, and Jordan. The tournament, which was held with in partnership with Nabbesh, took place at Oasis500 Business Center in Amman. The venue quickly became tightly [...]

2014-05-11 13:09

Publicis and Omnicom call off mega merger

More than nine months after announcing a plan to team up in a $35 billion “merger of equals,” Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group have called off the deal, the companies said Thursday evening. The agency holding companies, owners of many of the most prominent ad networks in the world, blamed the blowup on “difficulties in [...]

2014-05-10 09:15

StartJG creates responsive retail experience for Etisalat in the UAE

  UAE-based telecom operator Etisalat has unveiled a new store concept in Al Ain. Created by multi-channel brand agency StartJG, the new store design offers Etisalat’s customers a new retail experience. “Etisalat identified the retail channel as pivotal to building relationships, great customer service and a better brand experience. The new store concept strives to [...]

2014-05-10 08:49

Welcome to the kingdom

While the economic crisis pulls Jordan’s advertising industry underwater, digital is saving it from drowning Back in June 2011, Communicate Levant’s cover story about Jordan was predicting a bright online future for the kingdom. To a certain extent, it has been proven right: the Internet penetration rate that was hovering at 27 percent then, reached [...]

2014-05-07 16:39

Initiative scoops four major honors at MENA Digital Awards 2014

  Initiative MENA has had its digital media work for its clients rewarded with the bestowing of four awards at the MENA Digital Awards ceremony, the first ever awards program dedicated to honoring excellence in the region’s digital media sector. The communications network picked up two Silver and two Bronze Awards at the inaugural event, [...]

2014-05-07 14:24

The Walt Disney Company announces new media agency setup

  The Walt Disney Company Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) recently announced a new retained media agency structure for the EMEA region, following a strategic review of its communications planning and media implementation. Disney will be working with Omnicom Media Group as lead agency at a regional level and in the UK and Ireland, [...]

2014-05-07 14:16

Marks & Spencer releases original regional ‘dramedy’, London Calling

Under the title “London Calling”, British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) released the second season of its first original regional ‘dramedy’ mini series – including new characters – for the MENA region. The series’ first season was launched last year in December as a pilot project. Featured exclusively online on Youtube and in Arabic [...]

2014-05-07 12:52

The MENA edition of Europe’s Transform Awards to be held in Dubai on June 2

  The inaugural MENA edition of European Transform Awards will be held in Dubai on June 2.The event, which, until now, has been held exclusively in London, is Europe’s only show dedicated to rewarding rebranding works and initiatives. But supported by an increasing number of entries and branding agencies coming out of the Middle East, [...]

2014-05-07 11:56

Regional social video advertising company BUZZEFF releases company and market figures

  Compiling research from IPG Mediabrands, MAGNA GLOBAL Advertising Forecasts and Forrester Consulting (December 2013), regional social video advertising company Buzzeff has released several figures on the growth of social video advertising. All media advertising investments grew 3.2 percent in 2013, bringing total advertising expenditure for the year to nearly $490 billion. The contribution of digital [...]

2014-05-07 11:42

Google holds the Google House tour in Dubai for connected homes

  Showcasing the latest technologies and products the tech mogul has released for connected and smart homes, Google recently held the “Google House” tour in Dubai. “Google House is a glimpse into what it means to have a connected home, to have information at your fingertips wherever you are. This could mean streaming content to [...]

2014-05-07 11:14

Reach of Facebook is higher than leading digital platforms in the UAE, KSA and Egypt, study reveals

  At a roundtable that was organized by Facebook in Dubai , a recent study, conducted by the global research firm Ipsos, revealed that monthly reach of Facebook is higher than other digital platforms in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt. Jo Tenzer, Facebook’s Marketing science lead for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East [...]

2014-05-07 11:02

All About Brands and Drive Productions announce strategic partnership

  Abu Dhabi-based creative communications agency All About Brands has formed a strategic partnership with Drive Productions, a creative production agency that creates live and digital experiences, to offer brand marketing solutions to clients throughout the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region. Having recently joined forces to work on the creative for Abu [...]

2014-05-07 10:44

Carat appoints two directors for new business wins in the MENA region

  Carat, part of Dentsu Aegis Network, has hired Hervé Wittenauer as group media director, and Mark Brown as associate media director for the Middle East and North Africa to help manage its growing portfolio of new business that now includes technology company and payments industry leader MasterCard. Wittenauer joins Carat from inside the Dentsu [...]

2014-05-07 10:13

Mobile Marketing Association appoints new chairman for global board of directors

  The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has announced the appointment of John Costello, currently president of global marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, as the new chairman of its global Board of Directors at the opening of the association’s New York Education Forum in New York City. The appointment of Costello supports the MMA’s relaunch and evolution from [...]

2014-05-07 09:48

Cleartag keeps growing

Digital agency Cleartag has recently acquired four new accounts in the UAE: telecom operator du, automotive brand Toyota, First Gulf Bank, and LG Electronics. The agency has also recently relocated to a new office in Dubai – a 2500 sq ft villa in Boutique Villas, Dubai Media City.

2014-05-06 18:56

PHD wins the digital buying and planning account for Unilever

  Part of the Omnicom Media Group (OMG), PHD has won the digital buying and planning account for Unilever in the GCC region. “Technology, consumers and media are continuously evolving; and whilst we still heavily depend on traditional advertising, we need to embrace the strong wave of the digital era. As you may know, Unilever [...]

2014-05-06 17:23

French Digital to launch Dubai chapter

  Already established in London, Paris and Berlin, French Digital, a community for French, Francophone and Francophile digital professionals is expanding outside of Europe and into the Middle East region with the launch of its Dubai chapter. The launch will be held on May 12 in Dubai’s Media City. French Digital aims at helping business [...]

2014-05-06 12:00

GroupM to take majority stake in mobile media agency in Turkey

  WPP has announced that GroupM, its wholly-owned global media investment management company, has agreed to take majority stake in aMVG (Aerodeon), a mobile media agency and mobile technology company in Turkey. Founded in 2002, aMVG (Aerodeon) specializes in developing mobile media strategies and technologies for its clients.This includes mobile media buying and planning, mobile marketing [...]

2014-05-06 11:47

Buzzman bags the digital accounts for P&G’s Pantene and Head & Shoulders

  Following a competitive pitch, P&G (Procter & Gamble) has handed to Buzzman its regional digital accounts for Pantene and Head & Shoulders. The accounts, which cover the whole Middle East and North Africa markets, will see Buzzman create and execute comprehensive digital strategies. Aref Yehia, media and digital group manager at P&G, said in [...]

2014-05-04 20:28

Resolution Productions wins at the New York Festival, World Film & TV Awards

Resolution Productions of Qatar announced that it has been recognized at the New York Festival, World Film & TV Awards, for the second consecutive year. The company was awarded a Silver World Medal in the Public Relations category for its film ‘The Secrets of my Success’ created and produced on behalf of RasGas Qatar. The award [...]

2014-05-04 17:56

Hashtag Studio opens in Dubai

  Creative studio #studio (read Hashtag studio) has recently launched in Dubai. The studio offers an array of branding and creative services including advertising, visual identity, digital production and social media management. The studio’s team carries experience across several specialized fields such as retail, banking, HR, oil and gas, construction, marketing, finance, procurement and FMCGs, [...]

2014-05-04 17:36

Zenith MENA Wins Reckitt Benckiser Arabia’s digital business

  FMCG giant Reckitt Benckiser has selected Zenith MENA to manage its digital media operations following a competitive, two-month pitch process. Reckitt Benckiser is a multinational consumer goods company and the region’s leading producer of health, hygiene and home products. Effective immediately, the assignment spans all digital media services; the win will see the agency [...]

2014-05-04 17:10

Starcom MediaVest Group wins double honors at Middle East Sports Industry Awards 2014

  Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) MENA walked away with two awards at the recently-held Middle East Sports Industry Awards 2014 (SPIA); two of the group’s clients – Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) and Adidas – received industry-wide recognition. Yas Marina Circuit won Gold in the Best Social Media in Sport and Bronze in the Best [...]

2014-05-04 14:26

Mindshare MENA to hold Mindshare Media Summit 2014

  WPP’s media agency Mindshare has announced that it will be holding the 2014 Mindshare Media Summit, titled “The Adaptive Mindset.” Featuring sessions from industry experts on the adaptation to the speed of change in the media industry, technology, and reworked strategies for customer engagement, the one-day summit is scheduled for May 19 at the Four [...]

2014-05-04 14:13

Portfolio Night’s 12th edition to be held in Dubai in late May

  The 12th edition of Portfolio Night is taking place on the 21st of May, 2014 at the Make Business Center. Hosted by Havas Worldwide and official media partner Communicate, the event is under the sponsorship of Uni Magazine, ShutterStock, Twitter, Squarespace, and VCU Brandcenter. The event happens simultaneously in major cities across the world, [...]

2014-05-04 11:58

Microsoft officially welcomes Nokia

In end April, Microsoft Corporation has completed its acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business as a first step in bringing these two organizations together as one team. The acquisition has been approved by Nokia shareholders and by governmental regulatory agencies around the world. “Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to [...]

2014-05-02 11:36

New kids on the block

  In partnership with Communicate, Havas Worldwide Middle East will be hosting Portfolio Night on May 21, an event connecting aspiring young copywriters, art directors and designers at universities with regional creative directors and leaders. The event, slated to take place simultaneously in Dubai’s Make hub and Beirut’s Symposium Executive Center, will be held under [...]

2014-05-01 16:16

Arab Media Forum 2014 to be held in late May

Organized by the Dubai Press Club and partnering with the Associated Press (AP), the Arab Media Forum 2014 will take place at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Exhibition Center on May 20. Under the theme ‘The Future of Media Starts Today”, the event aims to support the advancement of media in the Arab world, will [...]

2014-05-01 10:04

Forbes Middle East Woman launches in Dubai

Forbes Middle East Woman’s inaugural issue was released this week, examining and celebrating the accomplishments of influential women and public figures across and beyond the region. The magazine will feature a variety of lifestyle, health and wellness, travel, culture and business news, reviews and interviews on the Arab and international regions. “ Through the lens of [...]

2014-05-01 09:46

Facebook announces winners for the Facebook Studio Awards

In a bl0g post published on April 29, Mark D’Arcy, global director of creative solutions at Facebook unveiled the big winners of the Facebook Studio Awards 2014. The awards are granted to agencies and brands that successfully utilize the social network for their campaigns, leveraging them across channels. Sharing his thoughts on the winning work, D’Arcy [...]

2014-04-29 21:38

SMG extends winning streak at the MENA Digital Awards

  The awards just keep on coming for leading media agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). On April 23, the media giant garnered a total of three honors at the inaugural MENA Digital Awards – including two Silver trophies for Best Use of Video and one Bronze for Social Brand of the Year. In effect, this [...]

2014-04-29 16:44

OMG wins big at the Digital Media Forum’s MENA Digital Awards

  Omnicom Media Group agencies OMD, PHD and Resolution have performed brilliantly at the MENA Digital Awards, held last week as part of the Digital Media Forum. Together, they received 16 of the 36 handed out and all three networks were awarded gold for their work on a wide range of clients and digital disciplines. [...]

2014-04-29 16:35

Digital ad spend to reach $1billion in the MENA region by 2017, says Arabnet

  Global ad spend is forecast to grow by 5.5 percent this year and reach $537 billion, with online ad spend accounting for nearly one-quarter of the staggering amount, according to digital conference Arabnet. The global growth of the advertising sector is paralleled closely in the MENA region: digital ad spend in 2013 reached $300 [...]

2014-04-29 16:18

RPR announces partnership with regional conference

  Independent regional PR agency RPR – which recently split with Lebanon-based advertising group Rizk Group – has become the official PR partner for the regional conference “Investing in the Levant: New Opportunities”, organized by Macarlea Advisory and the Financial Times. The conference will take place in Amman, Jordan on May 8 under the higher [...]

2014-04-28 11:38

Visibly louder

Your page is your opportunity to introduce your business on Facebook. It’s the first place people on Facebook will discover you, and it’s where you’ll connect with your most engaged customers. – Make sure your Page has all the information people need to understand your business. Edit your short description in the About section. Add at least [...]

2014-04-27 13:55

Want Some Media to open office in Dubai

  London-based media production agency Want Some Media, recently recognized for its branded content work for Nissan with an award in the International Visual Communications Association (IVCA) Awards, has just announced its first international expansion plans with a satellite operation opening up in Dubai’s Media City later this year. Coming from a combined background of [...]

2014-04-27 13:29

Day one of DMF 2014 concludes with awards ceremony

  Day one of Digital Media Forum (DMF) 2014 has concluded with a glittering awards ceremony to honor the region’s top industry movers and shakers. The evening event, which was held at the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, was the culmination of the first ever awards program to formally recognise those who have made [...]

2014-04-27 13:15

Starcom MediaVest Group wins Sunbulah account

  Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has been appointed by Saudi Arabia’s Sunbulah Group as its media communications agency. Sunbulah is one of the Kingdom’s top manufacturers and distributors of premium frozen food products. The assignment, effective March 1, covers the MENA region and will see SMG provide Sunbulah with communication solutions across all analogue and [...]

2014-04-21 19:59

Fire away

   How has iProspect grown globally and in the region from an operational standpoint? The business was founded in Boston, US, during the late 1990s. Dentsu Aegis Network acquired iProspect in 2005. So up until three or four years into the acquisition, it was still just a search agency in the US. Then it struck [...]

2014-04-21 16:54

Double vision

  Following a recent gathering in Dubai, which brought together Starcom MediaVest Group’s (SMG) senior global and regional management, Olivier Gers, global president at SMG’s branded entertainment content unit LiquidThread, and Matt Blackborn, president of emerging markets at SMG, sat down for a chat with Communicate to share their views on future trends, opportunities and [...]

2014-04-21 14:42

Facebook to sell huge audience of World Cup fans to advertisers

  Facebook is courting advertisers with a more precise way of targeting ads to the massive segment of users who will watch the World Cup this summer. According to a sales deck obtained by Ad Age, the social network is offering a segment comprised of users who have expressed interest in the World Cup to [...]

2014-04-21 14:24

Race for the cloud

  The arms race among top B2B brands to acquire, partner with or build the best cloud suite of tools for chief marketing officers is in full swing, with an eye towards creating a full customer view utilizing real-time data. Here’s a look at who leads the pack, what they’re using and what the future [...]

2014-04-21 14:12

Simply put

  When was the last time you briefed a doctor about your symptoms and greeted his professional diagnosis with: “but that’s not creative?” Or the most recent occasion you discussed a needed repair to your car’s engine, dismissing the mechanic’s reply as “notnearly imaginative enough?” Advertising agencies are plagued with these kindsof comments from clients, [...]

2014-04-21 10:00

Just getting started

What was the reason behind your decision to sell the stake? And why at this point in time? The subject of WPP and Ogilvy & Mather buying more shares in the agency was opened quite a long time ago and I agreed to it. Since then, we’ve had a world economic recession that affected everybody [...]

2014-04-17 17:24

Ad Fusion Media launches En Route Middle East travel magazine

  Fujairah-based Ad Fusion Media has released a new travel publication, En Route Middle East. En Route Middle East is set for its official launch at the Arabian Travel Market 2014, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre 5th May 2014. En Route magazine offers readers coverage of current events as well as travel [...]

2014-04-17 14:37

JWT MENA’s In the Name of Faith and Fun reports on Mipsterz

  JWT MENA’s Brand Intelligence division has released the In the Name of Faith and Fun report, shedding the light on Mipsterz (Muslim hipsters), a “growing cultural phenomenon of young, hip and edgy Muslims who are paving the way for a new era of Muslim integration, that opens up many brand opportunities for the socially [...]

2014-04-17 12:24

Wolff Olins global CEO Karl Heiselman leaves to join Apple

  Wolff Olins global CEO Karl Heiselman is leaving the branding agency to join Apple next month in a marketing communications role. Heiselman confirmed by email that he accepted “an exciting new role at Apple after 14 fantastic years at Wolff Olins,” but referred further questions to Apple. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. “After an amazing [...]

2014-04-17 11:24

Eye of the tiger

  Edmond Moutran, chairman and CEO at Memac Ogilvy, closed the Dubai Lynx 2014 awards ceremony – held on March 12 and attended by 1,800 industry people – with a rather bittersweet speech. Twinned with the recent announcement of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide’s acquisition of a major stake in Memac Ogilvy, Moutran’s speech, thanking audience, [...]

2014-04-16 16:47

NUKE SUITE partners with ICONICTION for integrated social media platform in the MEA

  Social Media specialist and marketing platform for global brands Nuke Suite and Dubai-based digital innovation and acceleration hub ICONICTION have announced their partnership for the launch and business development of the social media suite ( across the Middle East and Africa region. is a new type of social marketing suite designed to allow [...]

2014-04-16 16:33

Kassab Group announces a slew of new projects and appointments

  Media services and solutions provider for the MENA region Kassab Group has announced the acquisition of several new projects, and the appointment of a new advisory board, chief operating officer, chief commercial officer and senior planning, strategy and business development Director. Kassab’s newly acquired projects encompass Sky News Arabia, the expansion of the Dubai [...]

2014-04-16 16:09

Elevision Media launches new DOOH space in the DIFC

  Elevision, a digital-screen media company that owns and manages a network of real-time screens inside premium properties, has launched a new outdoor LED screen for the DIFC. The digital signage will report the price for listed companies on the Nasdaq Dubai, updated continuously throughout the day’s trading session. The market-data will be supplemented by [...]

2014-04-16 15:39

EMC Digital Universe study forecasts data to grow ten-fold by 2020

  EMC Corporation today announced results of the seventh EMC Digital Universe study, the only study to quantify and forecast the amount of data produced annually. This year’s study, titled The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things, with research and analysis by global market intelligence firm [...]

2014-04-15 15:57

Forget the selfie: Samsung is out-innovating Apple in marketing

  It was the tweet heard around the world, but was it worth $1 billion? That was the value Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy put on the star-studded Oscar smartphone “selfie” during an interview in Cannes earlier this week. He also immodestly took credit for it, which is a stretch because while Publicis buying arm Starcom Mediavest did broker Samsung‘s [...]

2014-04-15 11:48

Tough crowd

  The Arabian Gulf is a land of unlikely contrasts. It has everything from deserts to skyscrapers, ancient souqs to haute couture, wooden dhows to super yachts—and residents and tourists hailing from every country around the world stopping by for a day, a year, or a decade. If only tailoring your brand for the local [...]

2014-04-15 10:49

Nice and slow

    Al Jazeera America is starting to earn the trust of some advertisers, but six months after its arrival the network still suffers from notably small audiences and lingering image problems in some quarters. After going live, in August 2013, with very few national brands – most prominently Procter & Gamble’s Gillette – the Qatar-backed cable news network began adding commercials from [...]

2014-04-14 19:03

SMG named Agency Network of the Year at the Festival of Media Global Awards

  Starcom MediaVest Group was awarded Agency Network of the Year at the Festival of Media Global Awards in Rome – the second year in a row and the fourth time in the past six years the network has earned this recognition. At the ceremony, SMG MENA took home the Silver award in the Best [...]

2014-04-14 15:09

Dentsu Aegis Network MENA promotes Antonio Chedrawy to COO

  Dentsu Aegis Network has promoted Antonio Chedrawy as chief operating officer to help drive expansion of the network in the North Africa and Levant sub region. As the network’s chief financial officer, Chedrawy was previously responsible for the network’s corporate governance, financial accounting and trading departments as well as being closely involved with the [...]

2014-04-14 14:56

Kreata Global expands its Middle East operations

  Kreata Global, a digital activation company has shifted its headquarters to  Dubai. This move coincides with the company’s team and service expansion. Kreata Global now has 65 employees, including the support team in India. With the introduction of new and diverse services, the company is looking to deepen its market presence in the Middle East. Deepan Parameswar, [...]

2014-04-14 14:40

Clique Media gets recognized at LinkedIn Partner Conference 2014

  Clique Media won the Most Creative Deal as well as the Top Sales Person of the year accolades at the LinkedIn Partners conference,  which was held in late March in London. The LinkedIn conference is an annual gathering of partners from markets worldwide that takes place over two days. The conference serves as a [...]

2014-04-13 19:31

Real Image Production works on new campaign for Bartercard UAE

Bartercard from Real Image on Vimeo. Dubai-based video production company Real Image Production has recently worked on a 2D-animated campaign to promote Bartercard UAE – operating in over 72 offices around the world and staffing over 600 employees, Bartercard UAE is a business marketplace with 55,000 cardholders who barter-trade over $60m every month. “Bartercard approached us [...]

2014-04-13 18:41

STEP conference announces updates to its program

  STEP – a media, technology, and design platform for creatives, influencers, and technophiles in the MENA region – which will be holding the third edition of its annual conference on April 30 at the Al Serkal Avenue, has just announced a slew of updates to its program and lineup of speakers. Ali Halabi from Istanbul [...]

2014-04-13 09:32

P&G sells pet care business to Mars in 2.9 billion dollar deal

  American multinational consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) has agreed to sell its pet care business in the US and other major markets to Mars for $ 2.9 billion in cash. The deal, currently pending regulatory approval, covers the dog food brands Iams and Eukanuba, and pet food brand Natura in major markets [...]

2014-04-13 09:18

Infographic shows what men and women look for on social media

  Following the release of their recent infographic, which showed that women used social media more often than men, and in more ways, web journalist Alex Hillsberg and David Adelman from have published another infographic, this time under the title Miles Apart: How Women and Men Use Social Media and Mobile. As the title indicates, [...]

2014-04-10 10:02

Initiative MENA wins big at the Festival of Media Awards

  Initiative MENA has scooped a major award at the Festival of Media 2014, a global advertising awards event. The regional media communications network received the Gold accolade for Best Targeted Campaign at the award show’s ceremony on April 8 in Rome, Italy, for its “Carefree Secret Talks” campaign for intimate wash brand Carefree  - [...]

2014-04-09 17:13

Arab Advisors Group launches two reports on TV in the Arab world

  Specialized research, analysis and consulting company The Arab Advisors Group has released two new reports on TV in the Arab world. The first, titled Arabic Reality TV Shows, release on April 1, provides analysis of the reality TV landscape in the Arab world, and includes analysis and profiles of 18 major Arabic reality TV shows [...]

2014-04-09 17:02

Spinneys launches first online retail store in Lebanon

In the last quarter of 2013, Lebanese retail store Spinneys launched its online shopping service,, “in an ambitious attempt of moving retail in Lebanon to a totally digital platform”, according to Ralph Kaahi, the company’s head of marketing. The online supermarket operates out of one delivery hub that is located at Spinneys’ Hazmieh branch. [...]

2014-04-08 20:03

‘Most competitive’ UAE business environment boosts digital opportunities

  With a number of key indicators pointing to strong growth in startups and other new digital businesses in the UAE, the region’s hub for digital investment and innovation is to again host the region’s key digital event, the ArabNet Digital Summit. “The digital opportunity in the GCC is undoubtedly here and that’s precisely the [...]

2014-04-08 12:13

JWT appoints chief talent officer for the MENA region

  JWT has announced the appointment of Greg Shuler as chief talent officer for the MENA region. Based in Dubai, Shuler will report in to Vatche Keverian, JWT MENA’s CEO. The ex SapientNitro HR lead brings expertise in B2B, digital and technology sectors to an important talent management remit in Middle East and North Africa [...]

2014-04-08 09:48

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller unveils the findings of its 6th Arab Youth Survey

  In a press conference held yesterday, regional PR firm and consultancy ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller  - part of the Menacom group – unveiled the findings of its sixth Arab Youth Survey.The Arab Youth Survey is an annual initiative of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, developed to provide data and insights into the attitudes and aspirations of the region’s 200 million-strong youth population – where [...]

2014-04-08 09:29

IPN’s Ramzi Ayash passes away

PR firm Impact Porter Novelli’s consultant Ramzi Ayash was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Communicate sends its sincere condolences to his colleagues, friends and family.

2014-04-07 19:41

Digital Media Forum 2014 to recognize the region’s best talent

  With a little more than three weeks to go until the third annual Digital Media Forum 2014 kicks off in Dubai, all eyes in the Middle East’s digital media industry will soon be on this exciting two-day event. Held on 23-24 April at the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai and organized by SPOTON [...]

2014-04-07 16:39

ZenithOptimedia releases Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report for April 2014

  In its recently released Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report for April 2014, ZenithOptimedia stated that global ad spend will be boosted this year by the three “semi-quadrennial” events – the Winter Olympics, the football World Cup, and the mid-term elections in the US – which will benefit television in particular. The report shows that advertising will continue [...]

2014-04-07 16:02

Cheil MENA hires lead for strategic planning unit

  South Korea-based advertising network and creative agency Cheil has announced the appointment of Olga Kudryashova as its planning director for the MENA region. Kudyashova worked previously with Saatchi & Saatchi X as a planning director, where she was responsible for devising shopper marketing strategies for P&G, Mondelez, Arla and The Change Initiative. Prior to [...]

2014-04-07 14:51

LinkedIn launches insights tool

  For going on a year, LinkedIn has been repositioning its ad business around content marketing. Now it’s launching new tools to let advertisers see how they’re faring as publishers within its walls. LinkedIn will now start assigning brands content-marketing scores to gauge the effectiveness of their posts to company pages, their branded groups, posts by company [...]

2014-04-06 15:02

Yahoo’s payday from Alibaba’s IPO will bring new pressures

    Thanks to a decade-old bet on Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, creaky Yahoo! is about to get a big infusion of cash. Agreements between the two companies will force Yahoo to divest about four-tenths of its 24 percent stake at Alibaba’s upcoming initial public offering. At Alibaba’s current valuation, the sale could add as much as [...]

2014-04-06 14:48

ID Comms launches MENA office

  Global marketing and media consulting business ID Comms has opened a new office in Dubai, which will be headed up by Mike Readman, the former CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group in MENA.The new office will be the third outpost of ID Comms, which is headquartered in London and also has offices in Singapore. Readman [...]

2014-04-06 14:38

MasterCard studies online shopping behavior in Lebanon

According to the 2014 Online Shopping Behavior study, conducted by MasterCard, consumers in Lebanon are gradually exploring online shopping options, for more than 20 percent of respondents had made at least one purchase online in the three months prior to the study. The survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted at the [...]

2014-04-02 17:51

Draftfcb renamed FCB

“Two distinct brands, Draft and FCB, were merged together seven years ago to have one seamless offering. It’s time to simplify our brand’s name as well, to reflect our focused identity and direction,” says global CEO of Draftfcb, Carter Murray, six months after being appointed to this position. In fact, the global network will be [...]

2014-04-02 17:28

Initiative MENA wins three new accounts

  Initiative MENA, a regional media communications network, has marked its first quarter of 2014 operations by securing three new accounts. The agency, which operates several offices throughout the Gulf and Middle East, has picked up the new accounts of SACO in Saudi Arabia, Sohar Ports in UAE and Vileda in Lebanon. “We are delighted with Saco, Sohar [...]

2014-04-02 15:24

Peter Sherman Jumps to Omnicom role after less than a year at JWT

  WPP has talked about luring talent from Omnicom and Publicis ahead of those companies’ merger, but Omnicom has just poached a top exec from a WPP agency: JWT‘s Peter Sherman, who becomes exec VP at Omnicom, reporting to the holding company’s CEO John Wren. Sherman only joined WPP’s JWT last June, first as CEO of New York [...]

2014-04-01 15:06

Noqoush Mobile Media Group launches three technology assets

  Middle East-based mobile media company  Noqoush Mobile Media Group – specialized in mobile advertising and monetization - announced today the introduction of three technology assets to enrich its mobile advertising network, AdFalcon. “We are delighted to announce the introduction of Native Ads, Geo-fencing and Video Plus formats. AdFalcon’s Native Ads format will help advertisers and [...]

2014-04-01 11:41

Global PR Trends Summit to take place in Doha in June

  Following its successful rollout in 12 different European countries, the Global PR Trends Summit, one of Europe’s most innovative PR events is finally coming to the Middle East. Taking place on June 1 and June 2 at the W Hotel in Doha, the Global PR Trends Summit features two days of interactive presentations by [...]

2014-04-01 10:47

Communicate partners with Havas Worldwide Middle East for Portfolio Night

  Hosted by Havas Worldwide Middle East in partnership with Communicate magazine, Portfolio Night, an event connecting aspiring young copywriters, art directors, and designers with regional creative directors and leaders, will take place on May 21. The event will be held under the sponsorship of iStockphoto, Pantone, and VCU Brandcenter. In a speed-pitching format, the [...]

2014-03-31 16:09

Leo Burnett MENA appoints Jean Traboulsi as regional new business director

  Leo Burnett MENA has announced a renewed focus on driving growth across the Middle East. Effective April 1 2014, Jean Traboulsi will head the Group’s growth strategy as regional new Business director, overseeing business potential in the UAE, Kuwait,  and the Lower Gulf region. Commenting on the announcement, Raja Trad, CEO, Leo Burnett Group [...]

2014-03-31 14:53

Global communications network SERMO signs up Mojo PR in the Middle East

  SERMO, a global lifestyle and luxury communications network founded in 2009 by Talk PR, has signed independent boutique agency Mojo PR as its exclusive partner for the Middle East.   The network  counts 12 partners in 17 cities across 14 countries, with a focus on global lifestyle and luxury sectors – for which the Middle [...]

2014-03-31 14:42

Sky News Arabia appoints Thomas Khoury as commercial director

  Abu Dhabi-based 24-hour news channel Sky News Arabia has announced the appointment of Thomas Khoury as its new commercial director. Thomas started with the company in early February 2014, and is responsible for its commercial interests, and driving its strategic growth by managing all sales, marketing, communications, research and distribution efforts. “I am very [...]

2014-03-31 14:10

WPP PLC’s Hill+Knowlton Strategies to acquire digital creative agency Rice5

  WPP has announced that its wholly-owned operating company Hill+Knowlton Strategies, an international communications consultancy, has agreed to acquire Rice5, a full service digital creative agency. Founded in 2003 with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Rice5 specializes in innovative brand building, engaging audiences with creative design and technology, and social and digital media. Rice5’s [...]

2014-03-31 13:55

Al Rifai vs. Castania

Mother’s Day is one of these occasions that has social media platforms buzzing with posts from users, and variations on “Happy Mother’s Day” messages from brands. So, on March 18, Al Rifai posted on its Facebook page the Mother’s Day ad created by advertising agency Rizk Group, using the headline “Thank You for Loving Me [...]

2014-03-31 13:26

STEP conference to hold third annual edition

Under the theme “Innovation at the Intersection of media, technology and design”, STEP – a media, technology, and design platform for creatives, influencers, and technophiles in the MENA region – will hold the third edition of its annual conference on April 30 at the Al Serkal Avenue. In line with the main theme, the conference will [...]

2014-03-30 12:00

JWT announces the promotion of Michiel Hofstee to CEO for the Gulf region

  JWT announced today the key promotion of Michiel Hofstee to CEO for the Gulf region, effective immediately.  Leading the company’s operations in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar markets, Hofstee will retain his base in Dubai, the region’s operational hub and continue to report in to Vatche Keverian, JWT MENA’s CEO. Michiel Hofstee brings [...]

2014-03-27 13:29

PHD Abu Dhabi names general manager

  PHD, the media agency network part of the Omnicom Media Group, has promoted planning director Mohammed Halawi to the position of general manager of its office in Abu Dhabi. The appointment is effective immediately. The move reflects both his personal development and the growing needs of PHD’s clients based in the capital; after a [...]

2014-03-27 12:24

OMD wins Aramex’s Shop and Ship digital account

  In order to support the expansion of its e-commerce offering, Shop and Ship, with specialist marketing capabilities, Aramex has selected OMD to manage its digital media and communications. Shop and Ship, the online shopping delivery service powered by Aramex, allows users to purchase items from international websites and have them shipped to consumers living [...]

2014-03-27 12:04

Facebook Acquires Oculus VR for $2 Billion

  Facebook announced Tuesday that it acquired Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift gaming headset in a cash and stock deal valued at $2 billion. The terms of the deal include $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock. The Oculus Rift project gained prominence on Kickstarter, raising over $2 million in the summer of [...]

2014-03-26 15:32

Kingdoms of content

  Those who love to drink coffee often have favorite places to do so. They frequent a chosen venue because it’s a great place to hang out. Perhaps they know the owners or the other customers who, like them, regularly drop in to socialize. But without the rich aromas and great tasting coffee that they serve, would [...]

2014-03-26 10:49

Al-Futtaim Motors launches the Toyota FJ Cruiser Xtreme with a 4DX commercial

  For the launch of the flagship Toyota FJ cruiser four-by-four limited edition model, Xtreme, Al-Futtaim Motors, the automotive brand’s exclusive distributor in the UAE, has launched the first 4DX commercial in the region in Vox Cinemas in late March. Owned and developed by South Korean company, CJ 4DPLEX, 4DX is a motion picture technology [...]

2014-03-26 10:12

How the big business uses the emotional power of logos

  Golden arches. Swoosh. Mouse ears. You know what they mean. Some logos are so powerful that they don’t need to spell out their names, or that they transcend cultural borders. How can these simple, trivial little artworks inspire global familiarity with so many of them having become iconic? Because they’re not trivial or simple. Iconic [...]

2014-03-26 09:30

WPP to acquire majority stake in digital technology consultancy Cognifide

  WPP has agreed to take a majority stake in UK digital technology consultancy, Cognifide, with WPP Digital, the digital investment arm of WPP and Wunderman, the world’s largest digital agency network, taking equal stakes. Cognifide is a digital technology consultancy, specializing in content management and digital asset management technology. It helps companies and brands build their [...]

2014-03-25 11:45

Abunayyan Holding launches Mostaqbaly career website

  Saudi Arabia power and water conglomerate, Abunayyan Holding, has teamed up with Middle East-based recruitment solution provider Cazar to launch Mostaqbaly, its new employer brand and career website. Abu Nayyan Holding’s president and CEO, Khalid Abunayyan, explains the reason behind this latest project:“Abunayyan Holding and its subsidiaries aspire to be the employer of choice [...]

2014-03-25 11:08

Facebook appoints head of marketing communications for the CEEMEA region

  With the growth of its regional operations, Facebook announced yesterday the appointment of Mark Hamilton as head of marketing communications for the Central Eastern Europe Middle East Africa (CEEMEA) region. Mark will be responsible for leading Facebook’s B2B marketing efforts by working with leading brands to develop their strategies. He will also be a [...]

2014-03-25 10:36

Yahoo Maktoob makes slew of announcements for the MENA region

  In an event held yesterday, Yahoo Maktoob announced the launch of its revamped homepage with a new design for both its English and Arabic editions in the Middle East and Africa region. ” The new Yahoo Maktoob experience is a smart design that is intuitive, functional and optimized for easy, everyday consumption, and is [...]

2014-03-25 10:02

Google eyes

 (left: Tarek Abdalla, head of marketing- MENA, Google. Right: Mike Glaser, manager of creative partnerships, Google.) Tarek Abdalla, head of marketing -MENA, Google   How did the initiative for the Creative Sandbox at this year’s Dubai Lynx Awards come about? The Creative Sandbox is an event format created by Google to engage creative audiences. It is [...]

2014-03-23 19:42

The ‘digitoral’ era

  Stories have been around since antiquity. People have spread them for thousands of years and some are still relevant today. They stood the test of time because people engaged with their core message and spread them through oral tradition – from generation to generation. Think Greek Myths and fairytales. Behind these stories lies a simple structure: strong characters [...]

2014-03-23 16:54

Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are coming for your customers

  We’re barely into 2014 and already the biggest digital disruptors are either flexing their muscles anew or apparently getting ready. Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion, Apple said it has nearly $160 billion in the bank, Amazon is reportedly close to shipping a set-top box for your TV, Microsoft has sold millions of its Xbox One game consoles [...]

2014-03-23 16:40

Choueiri Group co-sponsors the Dubai Lynx Awards for the seventh consecutive year

  For the seven year in a row, Choueiri Group partnered with the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity and Awards, held from March 9 till 12, as a co-sponsor of the event. In addition to this event sponsorship, Choueiri Group’s subsidiary company and dedicated OOH (Out-Of-Home) arm, Arabian Outdoor, also sponsored the Dubai Lynx Outdoor [...]

2014-03-22 20:20

ArabNet Digital Summit to host second edition in Dubai

  Digital conference Arabnet Digital Summit 2014 will hold its second edition from June 3 till June 5 at Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm. Connecting Arab businesses with global industry leaders, the conference is expected to draw in over 130 international and regional speakers, 1000 attendees, and 50 fast-growing digital Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). The summit will [...]

2014-03-22 19:43

Webedia takes major stake in the capital of Diwanee

  French media group Webedia – which houses several leading entertainment and lifestyle websites – has acquired a majority stake in the capital of Middle East digital media company Diwanee. The deal entails a five-million dollar investment by Webedia into Diwanee, which will be used by the latter to accelerate its product innovation, development, improvement, [...]

2014-03-22 19:25

Instinctif Partners and Middle East IR Society host “Hold the Front Page” workshop

  Formerly known as College Group, international business communications consultancy Instinctif Partners – which operates from 20 offices around the globe including  the Middle East – recently partnered with the Middle East Investor Relations Society (ME-IR Society) for a workshop aimed at providing the investor relations community with an insider’s look at the life cycle [...]

2014-03-22 18:52

Subscription video-on-demand Service Telly signs international distribution agreements

Telly (, a platform allowing people to discover new video-on-demand content via social recommendations, announced today that it is launching a new premium service called Telly Plus for emerging markets, and that it has signed international distribution agreements with both Sony Pictures Television and Miramax to provide content for the service. The agreements enable Telly [...]

2014-03-18 17:13

Vine comedians emerge as latest hot property for brands

  In a Vine video published early this winter, a French transplant to New York named Jerome Jarre approached a baby squirrel sitting on a park bench and began squeaking, apparently trying to communicate with the rodent. The squirrel, sensing Jarre, perked its head up and then lunged straight at him, slamming directly into his [...]

2014-03-18 09:30

Mobility test

  In a recent conference held by Resolution MENA, titled “Mobile Hotspot 2014”, Jonathan Labin, head of Facebook for Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, confirmed, as many had expected, that for the social network, the “year of mobile” has probably come and gone. This year, Labin confidently predicted how Facebook was moving from being a “mobile first” advertising platform to being a “mobile [...]

2014-03-16 16:26

Rayan Karaky and Rami Saad leave SMG MENA

  Rayan Karaky has left his position as chief digital officer for MENA & Emerging Markets at Starcom MediaVest Group, and Rami Saad has left his position as SMG’s managing director, digital. The group has yet to comment on the departure of Karaky and Saad. Karaky is said to be joining Google, while Saad is [...]

2014-03-16 15:53

Facebook formally rolls out video advertising

  After launching a test of its long awaited video ads in December, Facebook is now formally rolling them out to a larger group of advertisers as it looks to take a bite out of TV’s $70 billion US ad market. As expected, the 15-second “premium” video ads will start playing automatically when users scroll past them [...]

2014-03-16 11:52

Dentsu Aegis Network launches RTB platform for MENA region

  Global communications network Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the launch of its programmatic media buying platform, Amnet. Programmatic buying – which is the act of bidding on media inventory in an automated way, directly connects a brand with its online customers – will expand the Dentsu Aegis Network’s footprint into real-time bidding (RTB), one [...]

2014-03-16 11:32

ESOMAR maps out Big Data trends in two-day conference

  The international research community has been urged to focus its considerable data analysis expertise and systems on leveraging the ‘Big Data’ growth and innovation opportunities. The call has come from Finn Raben, director general at ESOMAR – an organization which encourages, advances and elevates market research worldwide – in a two-day conference held under [...]

2014-03-15 08:41

Thomson Reuters and Mediaquest to host the Arabian Entrepreneurship Festival

  Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and Mediaquest, one of the leading media companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), have announced the launch of the Arabian Entrepreneurship Festival, which will take place in Dubai from October 21 till October 22, 2014. The Arabian Entrepreneurship [...]

2014-03-15 08:24

T-pay partners with top gaming vendors and aggregators in the region

  ARPU Plus, a  mobile Value Added Services (VAS) and monetization platform solutions provider across the Middle East – and a company under OTVentures, a digital and technology solutions provider for online and mobile platforms  - has announced that ten leading gaming vendors and aggregators in the region have signed on to its payment gateway, [...]

2014-03-15 08:15

WPP’s Xaxis appoints managing director for the MENA region

  Xaxis, a global digital media company under WPP – providing programmatic media and technology solutions – has announced the appointment of Marcus Siddons as managing director for the MENA region. Siddons will be responsible for managing operations across the region, overseeing account management, trading, publisher relations and partnerships. Siddons joins Xaxis from Sony Pictures [...]

2014-03-15 00:29

Newsweek looks at new Arabic edition after U.S. print revival

The iconic U.S. magazine Newsweek is considering a new Arabic edition as part of expansion plans covering a number of foreign markets. Newsweek on Friday published its first U.S. print edition in over a year, after going online-only in Dec. 2012 in the wake of a series of financial difficulties. Newsweek’s relaunch in print form [...]

2014-03-13 17:58

Winners of Yahoo sponsored Young Lynx Media competition announced

  Dubai Lynx announced Amar Abou Zahr and Nadim Karam from BPN team as the winners for the Young Lynx Media Competition sponsored by Yahoo this year. The competition brought teams of two from various regional media agencies to prepare an innovative media plan in just 24 hours to raise awareness about Dubai Center for [...]

2014-03-13 17:06

Socialbakers releases social media marketing report for the UAE

  Global social monitoring platform Socialbakers has released a social media marketing report for the UAE for the month of February 2014. The report shows that the average number of Facebook fans for the top 20 brands in the UAE equaled 218,972, while the average number of Twitter followers equaled 43,085. Meanwhile, the UAE’s top [...]

2014-03-13 11:58

Dubai Lynx 2014 announces winners

The winners of the 8th Dubai Lynx Awards have been revealed last night in an awards ceremony that was attended by over 1,800 people. A team of 43 global jury members came together in Dubai and spent three days judging over 2,279 pieces of work from 18 countries , which were entered across 15 categories. [...]

2014-03-13 10:25

Leo Burnett Dubai launches innovative crowdstorming concept at Dubai Lynx 2014

 Leo Burnett Dubai launched an exciting new creative concept at the opening of the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity: CrowdStorming. The groundbreaking idea was seen at Leo Burnett’s Lynx Academy booth within the Festival at Madinat Jumeirah Arena from March 9-11, where the correlation between collective brainstorming and creative inspiration was demonstrated in an [...]

2014-03-12 11:29

Wolff Olins Dubai names new principal

  Global brand consultancy Wolff Olins has announced the appointment of Simon Hong as the new principal of its Dubai office. He joins a team of 15 global business, creative and strategy principals. Hong has over 20 years experience of working across various disciplines, including broadcast and environmental design, and with several brand consultancies, most recently in [...]

2014-03-11 18:22

Four reasons your brand posts are fading on Facebook

The Facebook news feed is highly coveted real estate with finite space, so something had to give – and its brand posts. The social network wants to keep its 757 million daily users active while cranking up its ad business, so brand posts with no spending behind them are getting the squeeze. The posts are [...]

2014-03-11 12:15

Leo Burnett welcomes 20 more students into the Lynx Academy

  As part of the  Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity, 20 of the Middle East and North Africa’s most promising advertising students have been inducted into the Leo Burnett Lynx Academy. Now in its sixth year, the academy – a collaboration between Leo Burnett and Dubai Lynx – will run alongside the Festival from [...]

2014-03-10 14:58

Irdeto consumer research reveals strong demand for OTT in GCC countries

Consumer demand is increasing for over-the-top (OTT) offerings and Internet TV services like icflix and Netflix in the GCC countries according to new research from Irdeto, a provider of multiscreen, revenue assurance and media protection solutions. The research revealed that 23 percent of GCC consumers surveyed would prefer to watch TV, movies or sports content through Internet [...]

2014-03-10 14:38

Dubai Lynx opens doors, first shorlists announced

The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity is now well underway with over 1,700 delegates in attendance and the first shortlists released earlier today. After a record 2,279 entries, shortlists for 12 of the 15 entry categories have this morning been released as follows: Film 33, Print 56, Outdoor 63, Radio 29, Media 70, Direct [...]

2014-03-10 13:17

Starcom MediaVest Group MENA partners with Adopt-a-Camp at the Dubai Lynx Festival

  At this year’s Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) MENA will be joining forces with Adopt-a-Camp, a UAE-based social enterprise founded by Saher Sheikh, and designed to improve the lives of the men who build the beautiful cities in which we live. In effect, the organization’s objective is to reach [...]

2014-03-10 13:10

Marketing bricks

  Today’s changing digital landscape is forcing organizations to re-evaluate their media strategy as the lines between paid, earned and owned media become blurred. It’s crucial for marketers to find more cost-effective and coherent means of engaging with consumers, and that’s why content marketing has quickly become a key part of any organization’s marketing mix [...]

2014-03-10 12:53

GlobeMed partners with M&C Saatchi for humanitarian cause

After the visit of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie to Lebanon’s Bekaa province on Sunday, February 23 to support Syrian refugees – as part of her role as a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – Lebanese healthcare benefits management firm, GlobeMed, took the opportunity to launch an awareness campaign, in collaboration [...]

2014-03-10 10:17

TV’s future? Disney signs on for ad-skipping, web-based pay TV

  Dish Network and Walt Disney Co.announced new carriage agreement on Monday night that lays the groundwork for Dish to introduce a web-based TV service and protect its commercial-skipping technology from legal threat The biggest takeaway for advertisers is that Dish has agreed to disable its AutoHop tech, which lets viewers skip ads in recorded programming automatically, [...]

2014-03-09 17:26

Volvo consolidates global media with Mindshare

  Automotive brand Volvo has consolidated its global media buying and planning business with WPP’s Mindshare, according to people familiar with the matter, who added that the selection follows a closed pitch between Havas Media, which has worked with Volvo in the U.S. for a number of years, and Mindshare, which has supported the business in various [...]

2014-03-09 15:19

Fighting back

  In late January, Ipsos Egypt released a slew of press releases and statements reaffirming the transparency of its operations in the country; a defensive move that was, of course, not without reason. In fact, for several months, the research firm had been fighting a naming-and-shaming campaign led by a consortium of Egypt’s top TV channels, questioning the transparency of its processes and [...]

2014-03-09 13:43

Instagram inks ad deal With Omnicom worth up to $100 million

  Instagram has inked its first major ad deal with an agency, and it’s big. The photo- and video-sharing site is rolling out a paid advertising program with a year-long commitment from Omnicom to spend up to $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The arrangement means that users will start seeing ads [...]

2014-03-09 10:06

Infographic shows women hold more power on social media

  Compiled by web journalist, Alex Hillsberg, and David Adelman from, and utilizing information from Pew Research and Burst Media, a recent infographic was released, showing that women used social media more often than men, and in more ways. The infographic shows that 76 percent of US women online used Facebook, 54 percent used [...]

2014-03-08 11:14

CODE and The Knowledge Engineers to hold mobile marketing workshop in Dubai

  In collaboration with digital marketing training company The Knowledge Engineers, digital marketing consultancy and technology provider, the CODE Center of Digital Excellence, will be holding a mobile marketing training workshop in Dubai on April 23.  The 2-day interactive session will discuss opportunities in mobile marketing marketing, mobile landscapes and trends, mobile audience insights, operating [...]

2014-03-08 10:15

MRM Dubai launches customer relationship center for Chanel

MRM Dubai, part of Middle East Communications Network, has launched a customer relationship center to support Chanel’s network of luxury stores in the region. The tailor-made CRM (customer relationship management) solution was commissioned by Chanel in order to close the information gap in the luxury retailer’s understanding of its customers in the gulf.  MRM Dubai’s [...]

2014-03-06 14:59

Mondelez collaborates with Buzzman for Flake Dipped activation campaign

  Mondelez  has collaborated with digital agency Buzzman for an online and offline activation campaign for the chocolate brand Cadbury’s Flake Dipped bar. The campaign directs consumers to a micro-site featuring four games, in which they have to unlock a safe where a Flake Dipped is hidden. Game participants are offered a chance to win [...]

2014-03-06 13:39

Grow’s prospects

 Can you take us through the history and growth of grow’s operations in Qatar? I established Grow in October 2005: one man, one creative director, one mobile phone in a shared office that shut at 2 p.m. and a stuffed Orry mascot. A relic of my time as senior client director for fitch London, delivering [...]

2014-03-06 13:08

Clique Communications Group announces new appointments

  CCG (Clique Communications Group) has announced four new appointments in its digital, sales and marketing teams. The additions come in soon after CCG celebrated five years in the region. Rohan Ahuja joins CCG as digital director for the Dubai office. After a six-year stint at OMD Dubai, Rohan will provide digital counsel to clients [...]

2014-03-06 10:38

Y&R restructures Middle East operations

  David Sable, global CEO of Y&R, has announced a restructuring of Y&R’s Middle East operations. Joseph Ghossoub, who is the CEO of MENA Communications (a subsidiary of WPP’S Y&R Group), will take on the interim role of chairman and CEO of Y&R MENA as Y&R enlarges and diversifies its offering in the region .The announcement follows the departure of [...]

2014-03-05 17:59

Top players

Have you ever watched someone play Candy Crush, Angry Birds, or World of Warcraft? They’re totally transfixed. You might ask: Why are they playing? Usually, it is just for the sense of individual achievement in reaching a new level. Why can’t you harness this same level of engagement and apply it to critical issues, in order to create innovative new products and [...]

2014-03-05 10:51

JCDecaux unveils its first digital iVision airport network At Dubai International

  Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux SA, in conjunction with Dubai Airports, announced today that its subsidiary JCDecaux Dicon has unveiled a network of high definition digital 80” iVision screens at Concourse A, Dubai International. This new network of twenty screens, provided by JCDecaux’s R&D division in France, is part of the first wave of a comprehensive roll out of [...]

2014-03-04 13:24

The chosen people

Comprising more than 200 nationalities, UAE consumers cannot be viewed as a single block of customers with consistent purchasing patterns. Approximately four UAE residents out of five are foreign. The drastic change in growth and composition of the population – ethnicity, culture and income level – pose challenges to many companies looking to communicate their products. Ethnic minorities represented $2.5 trillion in buying power worldwide [...]

2014-03-04 10:21

Getty Images sets up interactive video wall at Dubai Lynx 2014

  Global media company Getty Images will be installing a video wall in the Dubai Lynx Festival Hall at the upcoming Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity 2014. Produced in collaboration with award-winning production and installation artists The Light Surgeons and unveiled to industry acclaim at the Cannes Lions 2013, the dynamic video wall draws on Getty [...]

2014-03-03 12:07

UM Dubai wins media planning and buying account for B4U Aflam

B4U Aflam, the Arabic-language Bollywood film channel, has announced the appointment of UM Dubai as its new media buying agency for the MENA region. B4U’s alliance with UM Dubai will not only help the network to grow in the MENA region, but will also help bring B4U Aflam closer to its target audience, the local Arabic population, [...]

2014-03-03 11:07

Mindshare MENA appoints chief strategy officer

Mindshare MENA has announced the appointment of Alexandra Reynolds as the agency’s new chief strategy officer for the MENA Region.  Reynolds brings 15 years of global experience to her new role at Mindshare. As chief strategy officer MENA, Reynolds will be responsible for ensuring the quality of Mindshare’s product and service offerings across existing clients [...]

2014-03-02 16:01

UM Dubai wins Sun & Sand Sports regional media account

  Following a review and pitch process, UM Dubai has been awarded the regional media planning and buying account for Sun & Sand Sports. Effective immediately, UM Dubai will handle integrated media duties from its headquarters in Tecom for the sports retail distributor’s 90 brands across the MENA region. Sun & Sand Sports offers such world famous names [...]

2014-03-02 11:35

WPP Digital announces strategic partnership and investment in Percolate

  WPP Digital , the digital investment arm of WPP, has announced a global partnership with content marketing platform Percolate, one that will enable WPP companies to create streamlined and engaging content on behalf of their clients. The deal also includes a strategic investment by which WPP Digital will help Percolate expand its business both [...]

2014-03-02 11:16

JWT Kuwait appoints Anes Al-Rayes as executive creative director

  JWT has announced the promotion of Anes Al-Rayes to ECD JWT Kuwait. Al-Rayes will report in to Ramsey Naja, chief creative officer at JWT MEA. In his new role, Al-Rayes has been charged with solidifying the team’s capabilities and continuing its integrated creative offering for clients. Commenting on the news, Naja stated “JWT has always been [...]

2014-03-02 09:36

TBWA\RAAD’s Digital Arts Network partners with Hyper Island for the Dubai Lynx 2014

  TBWA\RAAD Digital Arts Network (DAN) has partnered with highly acclaimed Hyper Island – a private tertiary institution and educational company specializing in real-world industry training using digital technology - for this years’ “Digital Lab” at the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity, which will be held between March 9 and March 11 2014. A tailored version [...]

2014-02-27 18:16

WPP takes stake in commerce startup eCommera

  WPP is taking a stake in London-based commerce startup eCommera, which is also working with the holding company’s clients such as cosmetics maker Clarins and luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo. The investment came as part of a $41 million Series C led by Dawn Capital. WPP participated in the round and contributed an undisclosed sum. [...]

2014-02-27 15:17

Dentsu Aegis Network launches Vizeum in MENA

  Global communications network Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the launch of Vizeum, a media buying agency, and the network’s fifth agency brand part of Aegis Media, in the MENA region. The launch extends Vizeum’s products and services to 60 offices in 41 countries, its Middle East client roster already including Total, Hitachi, Pegasus Airlines and [...]

2014-02-27 10:22

McDonald’s joins throng of marketers experimenting with Snapchat

  Snapchat isn’t just for millennials, anymore. It’s also for brands trying to reach them. McDonald’s has joined the parade of marketers experimenting the ephemeral messaging service – photos and videos disappear after 10 seconds – and has enlisted some star power in the guise of Lebron James to promote its new account. The fast [...]

2014-02-26 18:35

YouTube MENA Leaderboard February 2014

  The explosive growth of YouTube around the globe has made it a powerful medium for brands to bring original and engaging campaigns to life reaching global audiences, including right here in MENA. Google has decided to share the best practices of creativity with Communicate through the Youtube Ads Leaderboard. The Leaderboard is a list of the [...]

2014-02-26 14:28

Grow Qatar collaborates with Qatar Petroleum for IPO campaign

  Doha-based creative branding agency, Grow, was appointed by Qatar Petroleum to create a brand identity and advertising campaign for the recently launched IPO of its petrochemical subsidiary, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company Q.S.C. (MPHC). The IPO offers Qataris the opportunity to secure their investment in Qatar’s future wealth by investing on preferential terms. This is [...]

2014-02-25 18:09

Choueiri Group’s DMS and SynkOnAir launch Synclie second screen app

  Digital Media Services (DMS), which serves as the digital arm of Choueiri Group, and SynkOnAir – a subsidiary of AJ Consulting focusing on second screen apps and technologies - have announced an exclusive partnership aimed at offering TV viewers, brands and broadcasters in the MENA region a second screen app, Synclie. The Synclie smart sync [...]

2014-02-25 16:54

New campaign launched in Dubai to “Beat the CyberBully”

  A new initiative, “Beat the CyberBully”,  has been launched in Dubai to provide education, awareness and training on the subjects of online and mobile usage among children and young people. Beat The CyberBully helps to reduce online vulnerability and build digital resilience among children and young people who are confident with technology but not yet [...]

2014-02-25 16:27

ARPU Plus launches T-Pay mobile payment platform

  ARPU Plus, a  provider of value-added services (VAS) and monetization platform solutions across the Middle East and an OTVentures subsidiary company, today announced the launch of T-Pay, an open mobile payment platform in the region that the company claims will revolutionize digital shopping. Through T-Pay, ARPU Plus has built an unique ecosystem for mobile [...]

2014-02-24 18:50

Cisco invests 6 million dollars in early stage online and mobile innovation

  Cisco today announced a $6 million investment in the Badia Impact Fund – a venture capital fund dedicated to investment in early-stage start-ups in the technology sector in Jordan - to support early stage online and mobile innovation, healthcare technologies and services, e-commerce, consumer Internet and digital media services in Jordan. This funding represents the [...]

2014-02-24 18:00

Leo Burnett MENA most awarded network at the Mena Cristal Festival 2014

  The Leo Burnett MENA network notched a set of great wins this winter at the MENA Cristal in Lebanon. After Leo Burnett Worldwide was named Global Network of the Year at the prestigious 2013 Cristal Festival last December in France, Leo Burnett MENA won Network of the Year at this year’s MENA Cristal. The [...]

2014-02-24 17:47

Topless brands

Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun inspires brands to strip Since February 10, images of Lebanese skier, Jackie Chamoun, showing some skin have been making the rounds across social media in Lebanon and abroad. The images are part of a calendar photographed three years ago, featuring a number of professional skiers form around the world, that [...]

2014-02-24 11:50

JCDecaux wins a 10-year advertising concession in the Sultanate of Oman

  Multinational outdoor corporation JCDecaux has won a 10-year exclusive advertising concession in the Sultanate of Oman for the Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport. This concession grants JCDecaux the exclusive rights to operate outdoor advertising within the existing airports, as well as in the new international airports that are currently under construction in both cities. JCDecaux [...]

2014-02-23 18:10

The Dubai Lynx names Land Rover MENA Advertiser of the Year for 2014

The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity will present the Advertiser of the Year award to  luxury automotive manufacturer Land Rover MENA, in recognition of its creativity in brand communications and marketing efforts across multiple platforms. Since 2011, Land Rover MENA has picked up 20 Dubai Lynx awards in different categories – Design, Direct, Film, [...]

2014-02-23 17:49

AME Awards World’s Best Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness Announces 2014 shortlist

The AME Awards®  for the World’s Best Advertising & Marketing Effectiveness™ has announced its shortlist for the 2014 competition. The GrandJury® members, comprised of interactive and multidisciplinary marketers, planners, and creatives from all over the world, selected the Shortlist from entries submitted from 22 countries worldwide. Worldwide since 1994, the AME Awards honors campaigns that successfully demonstrate solutions to [...]

2014-02-23 17:36

JWT wins top prize, Festival Grand Cristal at MENA Cristal

JWT made headlines recently at the MENA Cristal festival, dominating the handout of top honours on the night. An epic run of wins totaled 5 Grand Cristal (Grand Prix), 11 Cristal (Gold), 11 Sapphire (Silver) and 13 Emeralds (Bronze). The festival’s highest honour, the Festival Grand Cristal, was awarded by the jury’s unanimous vote to [...]

2014-02-23 17:17

DMF 2014 to honour the best in region’s digital industry

  The region’s top movers and shakers in the digital media industry will be honored at this year’s Digital Media Forum (DMF), which takes place April 23-24, 2014 in Dubai and one month later on May 28-29, 2014 in Cairo. For the first time, Spoton Media Services and Events organizers of the annual industry event, [...]

2014-02-20 17:19

Dubai Pizzeria becomes first merchant in the UAE to accept Bitcoin

Another milestone has just been passed in bitcoin’s bid for global domination. Notably, a restaurant in Dubai has become the first in the United Arab Emirates to accept payments in the digital currency. In fact, The Pizza Guys, as the artisan pizzeria is called, is one of the very first merchants to offer a physical outlet for cryptocurrency in [...]

2014-02-20 12:48

Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars

  Facebook Inc revealed yesterday that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stocks, in what is being called the largest deal in the social network’s history. The transaction involves 4 billion dollars in cash, 12 billion in stocks and 3 billion dollars in restricted stock units [...]

2014-02-20 12:34

Culprit Creative launches in Dubai

  Culprit Creative, the innovative production agency awarded this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 for marketing, is officially in Dubai on business. Culprit Creative specializes in viral marketing campaigns. The team consists of CEO Millennials David Dinetz, Dylan Trussell and Colt Seman. Each unique Culprit member has been born and raised on new media platforms such as [...]

2014-02-20 12:24

FP7/DXB wins pitch to retain Emirates NBD account

  FP7/DXB has retained the Emirates NBD creative advertising account, following a multi-agency pitch process that began at the end of last year. The agency competed against the regions’ largest multinational networks for the business. FP7/DXB will continue to oversee the Dubai-headquartered bank’s through-the-line communications brief for the UAE. Emirates NBD has awarded FP7/DXB a [...]

2014-02-20 11:54

Shortlists announced for Dubai Lynx and YouTube 7-day competition

  The annual award show, Dubai Lynx, announced the 12 entries that have shortlisted for its film competition – the Dubai Lynx and YouTube 7-Day Brief. The brief, set by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), asked participants to make a 30-60 second film commercial in seven days, in English or Arabic and [...]

2014-02-19 16:48

North55 spreads the love on Valentine’s Day

  Celebrating Valentine’s Day, Dubai-based creative agency North55 launched a campaign addressing its clients. The campaign started with a round of personalized, hand-written Valentine’s Day cards, addressing recipients by their name, and signed by their “secret admirer”. The card re-directed the recipients to personalized landing page once they had logged on using their unique URL, [...]

2014-02-19 11:56

Omnicom Media Group MENA named third best employer in the UAE

  In its third participation in the  ”Great Place to Work” survey, Omnicom Media Group MENA, the holding group of OMD, PHD, Integral and Resolution, has been recognized as the third best employer in the UAE by the Great Place to Work® Institute. This year, on the back of an even stronger staff endorsement, the [...]

2014-02-19 11:32

Senior management appointments announced at Leo Burnett

  Nadi Abi Saleh has been promoted from deputy managing director to managing director at Leo Burnett Beirut. She replaces Kamil Kuran, who has been appointed managing director for the Levant region.

2014-02-18 16:28

Weber Shandwick MENA named 9th greatest place to work in the UAE

  Weber Shandwick MENA has been officially recognized as a ‘Great Place To Work’ in the UAE in 2014 by the Great Place to Work Institute UAE, part of a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognizes the best workplaces in over 50 countries worldwide. Weber Shandwick MENA, which has two offices in the [...]

2014-02-18 15:57

Face to Face wins new accounts

  Dubai-based communication agency Face to Face has  announced  that it has won the Garmin – global provider of consumer, aviation, and marine technologies for the Global Positioning System - account, and has been charged with developing, for the bramd, a full launch strategy which includes full creative across outdoor, press, radio and online – media planning [...]

2014-02-18 10:07

Active Public Relations & Marketing Communications expands into Libya

  Active Public Relations & Marketing Communications (Active PR) has strengthened its network in the Middle-East, adding an office in Libya, Tripoli as a result of increasing demand from clients to tap into the business opportunities offered by the steadily recovering market. Active PR now operates in four locations via partners in Egypt, KSA, Turkey and [...]

2014-02-17 15:13

Consumer engagement wins OMD seven MENA Cristal Awards

Consumer engagement was a leading driver in OMD’s success at this year’s MENA Cristals. It featured heavily in the seven awards the media network received at a ceremony held in Beirut on February 6. OMD was the most awarded media agency network this year. OMD’s work for five of its clients was awarded in seven [...]

2014-02-17 14:59

Advertising industry leaders debate the value of awards

  The IAA has launched its 2014 networking sessions with a hotly contested first debate on the value of awards. The panel of debaters comprised of regional industry leaders, including Carla Hassan, CMO at PepsiCo MEA; Hubert Boulos, CEO Middle East, DDB; and, Mounir Harfouche, CEO, Lowe Middle East & North Africa. Held at the [...]

2014-02-17 10:31

Comcast said to agree to $44 Billion Time Warner Cable deal

  Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $44 billion, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal, according to four people familiar with the matter. Philadelphia-based Comcast is paying about $159 a share in the transaction set to be announced this morning, said the people, who asked [...]

2014-02-13 14:36

Paz Marketing wins four new accounts

  Paz Marketing has been appointed as the official PR agency for Asus Middle East, Gold’s gym UAE (under al ahli group),, hikma medical centre abu dhabi. The global technology brand Asus has previously worked with the agency on a project basis and has now moved to a long-term retainer. Additionally, Paz Marketing has worked [...]

2014-02-13 10:41

Resolution MENA holds “Mobile Hotspot 2014” conference

  Discussing the latest mobile insights, trends, techniques and opportunities for brands in mobile advertising and creativity, Resolution MENA held yesterday a one-day conference under the title “Mobile Hotspot 2014”. Kicking off the conference, Resolution MENA’s director of web and mobile, Nadim Khouri, shared significant numbers on the worldwide growth of tablets and smartphones versus [...]

2014-02-12 14:52

Teradata Hosts Teradata Universe Conference in the UAE

  Global analytics data platform, marketing applications and services provider Teradata Corporation kicked off the  ”Teradata Universe Conference in Dubai” yesterday. Now in its 4th year, the conference is held from 10 to 12 February and highlights how the global surge in data volumes is changing every major industry and every aspect of consumers’ daily lives, [...]

2014-02-12 10:49

SMG releases infographic on Expo 2020

Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) has recently released an infographic based on the social media activity of Dubai’s bid to host the Expo 2020. The infographic’s tweet chart shows that there were 161, 525 tweets around the Expo 2020 during the month of November, 118,803 congratulatory tweets, and that 82 percent of the tweets were made on [...]

2014-02-12 10:30

Virgin Atlantic to use wearable technology to serve customers

  In a pilot scheme that starts today, Virgin Atlantic passengers will be the first air travelers to experience the benefits of Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology as they arrive at London Heathrow airport.  Concierge staff in the airline’s Upper Class Wing will be using wearable technology. The wearable technology is being introduced as Virgin [...]

2014-02-11 17:17

Iris Public Relations wins PR mandate for Orlane in the UAE

Dubai based PR agency Iris Public Relations has been appointed to handle the PR activities for international skincare brand Orlane in the UAE. Started in 1947, Orlane proved to be a forerunner of anti-aging skincare by becoming the first brand to use “truly active” ingredients in its products. The founding principle of Orlane anti-aging skincare [...]

2014-02-11 17:05

Google integrates comScore into its ad technology

Google is bringing real time branding metrics into its ad technology via an integration with comScore, the company announced yesterday. The integration will allow both publishers and advertisers to instantly monitor whether their campaigns are hitting the right age and gender metrics, and adjust accordingly. Additionally, it will give brands access to some of the real [...]

2014-02-11 15:42

Choueiri Group appoints exclusive media rep for AMSI in Turkey

Turkey-based leading independent media representation house, SatisOfisi, recently announced its appointment as the exclusive and official local media representative office in Turkey for Choueiri Group’s  Arabian Media Services International (AMSI) – which acts  as the exclusive media representative of MBC Group – the Middle East North Africa region’s largest  entertainment and media conglomerate. Made effective  as [...]

2014-02-11 15:26

Starcom MediaVest Group wins big at the 2014 MENA Cristal Festival

  Leading media agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) has been named Media Network of the Year – and Starcom Dubai Media Agency of the Year – at the 2014 MENA Cristal Festival, which took place on February 6 at Beirut’s Music Hall. SMG dominated the festival’s ninth edition with myriad wins spanning the realms of [...]

2014-02-10 12:10

Corporate courtesy

  Twitter took the social media sphere by storm in 2006 when it launched. “What is it? Why should I join? What should I tweet?” were the micro-blogging platform’s standard questions. At one point, Twitter became a diary for many, reporting where they were going, what they were eating, etcetera. Having initially completely missed the [...]

2014-02-10 10:30

Google makes push for brand dollars with advertiser-driven private exchanges

  Direct-response advertisers have largely embraced programmatic buying, where ad dollars are matched with impressions in an auction-based real-time environment. Brand advertisers? Not so much. Google is hoping to change that with what it is calling “custom brand exchanges,” a reverse-engineering of the private publisher exchange, which have become commonplace. Unlike a typical private exchange [...]

2014-02-09 16:57

Carat Wins MasterCard’s $250 Million global media business

MasterCard has selected Carat to be its new media agency across most of the globe, retaining incumbent UM only in Latin America. The marketer spent $126.6 million on domestic measured media in 2012, the last full year of available spending data from Kantar Media. Globally, the company spends about $250 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The latest [...]

2014-02-09 16:28

du launches social media Ideathon for The Government Summit 2014

  In the run-up to The Government Summit 2014, which du is supporting as a headline partner, the telecom operator has announced a social media Ideathon on Smart Ccity initiatives. The initiative is geared towards creating public-driven momentum, gathering ideas in the process, and gathering feedback on the public’s impressions and aspirations for a Smart [...]

2014-02-09 14:04

TNS holds Executive Forum panel on the UAE’s digital and mobile landscape

  Understanding how people tick is still a competitive advantage, according to Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer of TNS, a worldwide custom market research organisation. Opening the recent TNS Executive Forum panel, Froggatt told over 50 UAE-based delegates that content remains one of the most important ingredients in marketing communications. “In today’s digital and mobile world, [...]

2014-02-09 12:25

Arab Advisors Group releases “IPTV in the Arab World 2014” report

Strategic research company The Arab Advisors Group has released a report in late January 2013, titled “IPTV in the Arab World 2014”. The 104-page report, which has 77 detailed exhibits, provides a comprehensive analysis of the IPTV availability in the Arab world, IPTV services providers, their bundled packages and lists of the offered free to air and [...]

2014-02-09 11:38

Pokeware launches in the region, signs partnership with Paypal

  Global online payment system PayPal has announced its partnership – a revenue share agreement –  with Pokeware, an advertising tech company, to offer further benefits to both Pokeware’s merchants and customers.  The partnership allows Pokeware’s MENA merchants to offer PayPal as an additional payment method to their customers. Pokeware and PayPal’s collaboration will give [...]

2014-02-09 09:57

Brightcove launches in Dubai

Brightcove, a leading global provider of cloud services for video, has announced the expansion of its operations with the opening of its office in Dubai UAE. The Dubai office will serve as the central hub for Brightcove’s business development and marketing efforts in the Middle East and Northern Africa region. The new office will be [...]

2014-02-06 15:42

Bruno El Adem appointed GM at Momentum Mena

Momentum MENA has appointed Bruno El Adm as general manager of its Abu Dhabi office, effective immediately. He will be responsible for overseeing operations for the omni-channel and integrated communication agency in the UAE capital, with a focus on driving new business. With a 15-year track record in the regional industry, El Adm joins Momentum [...]

2014-02-06 13:23

Facebook MENA appoints client partner for the retail and eCommerce channels

  Facebook announced today the appointment of Narain Jashanmal as client partner, Retail and eCommerce for the MENA region. He will be responsible for leading Facebook’s retail and eCommerce sales in the region, and for positioning Facebook as the preferred media platform among senior executives in the industry. Narain Jashanmal brings with him over 10 [...]

2014-02-05 17:53

Huawei appoints Serviceplan Middle East as advertising strategy partner

  As part of its 2014 strategy to widen awareness of its services across the region, Huawei – a leading global information and communications (ICT) solutions provider, announced a partnership with Serviceplan Middle East, the Dubai arm of Europe’s largest owner-managed independent agency. This partnership will see Serviceplan develop Huawei’s ongoing advertising strategy in the [...]

2014-02-05 14:52

The Film House launches in the region

Based in Qatar, production company The Film House has officially launched in the region a year on from its soft operational launch. Established by Justin Kramer as chief operating officer, and Omar Khalifa as director of production, the Film House relocated into its flagship offices in early January. Kramer, an American filmmaker and artist, started [...]

2014-02-05 13:24

Iyad Zahlan leaves JWT

  Iyad Zahlan has allegedly left his position as creative director at JWT Beirut due to difference in opinion with the agency’s management. No comment has yet been received from the agency regarding the reasons that led to Zahlan’s departure, but JWT Beirut has confirmed that Nicolas Geahchan has been appointed interim ECD in the [...]

2014-02-05 12:39

Armed With Facebook retargeting, Shazam plans to survive the social TV shake-out

Shazam, which was introduced in 2002 and eventually became both a must-have smartphone app and a dogged survivor of social TV attrition, remains unprofitable as it invests, according to executives, in its long-term success. Under CEO Rich Riley, the former Yahoo exec who took the reins last April, it’s also trying to get on the [...]

2014-02-04 18:57

Arabnet announces winners of the UAE Developer Tournament

A group of young web and mobile developers gathered last Saturday at the ArabNet Developer Tournament, the second in a series of regional tournaments for developers spanning six Arab countries: Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, KSA, and Qatar. The tournament, which was held with the sponsorship of telecom operatpr du UAE, and in partnership with Dubai Internet City [...]

2014-02-04 16:30

SkyHigh Advertising partners with Communic8 to enhance service offerings

SkyHigh Advertising, an integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency based in Dubai, has announced its newly formed partnership with Communic8, an internal communications and HR consultancy based in Canada. The partnership between the two firms will bring new approaches and understandings to how to prepare  eams and a vision for the EXPO 2020, building a [...]

2014-02-04 10:29

Nesquik collaborates with The Mob for “Shu Sharib” campaign

  Following a pitch that involved eight agencies, Nestlé’s ready-to-drink chocolate powder milk brand, Nesquik, collaborated with and chose creative agency The Mob to launch and promote its social media platforms. “The Mob presented us with the most creative strategy and campaign idea coupled with the most innovative digital and below-the-line solutions. The ideas presented [...]

2014-02-04 10:21

du receives Best Tech Social Media award from Tbreak

Telecom operator du has announced its win of the Best Tech Social Media Award at the annual Tbreak Awards, a technology and gaming awards in the Middle East. The award was accepted on behalf of du by Arun Kumar, digital Communication team representative at du.  “du is a worthy winner of the Best Tech Social Media Award, for [...]

2014-02-03 18:10

College Group to rebrand as Instinctif Partners

Global business communications consultancy, College Group (including leading brands College Hill, The College, College Public Policy, Policy Action, Green Issues Communique, Stockheim Media and Instinctif) announced that it is rebranding and unifying its business operations under one single brand, Instinctif Partners. This move sees all its operations – 20 wholly owned offices across 12 countries – take [...]

2014-02-03 17:58

Arabnet Beirut 2014 to take place in March

According to regional digital conference Arabnet, online advertising spending totals $ 300 million in the MENA region today, and is increasing at a 37 percent growth rate a year to reach one billion dollars in 2017. “Online advertising is an essential driver for the growth of Arab web and mobile businesses. With the increase of [...]

2014-02-03 17:52

PayPal and Pokeware announce partnership

Leading online payment solution PayPal has announced its partnership with Pokeware, an ad tech company.  The partnership allows Pokeware’s MENA merchants to offer PayPal as an additional payment method to their customers. Pokeware and PayPal’s collaboration will give online businesses a one-stop-shop payment solution that encapsulates local ATMs, mobile phone systems, major credit cards, and [...]

2014-02-03 16:57

CESP unveils report findings on tview

  Following a six-month audit process undertaken by French media research audit firm CESP, and commissioned jointly by the EMMC (Emirates Media Measurement Company ) and Choueiri Group, on behalf of TV station MBC and Dubai Media Incorporated, a 70-page report findings and recommendations were shared today with key stakeholders. The report found that the [...]

2014-02-03 15:08

DMS wins media representation for

  Digital Media Services (DMS), the digital arm of Choueiri Group, recently announced that it has been appointed as the Exclusive Media Representative for, the Middle East-based online destination for global and regional sports. is a digital platform aimed at sports fans and enthusiasts with a focus on football, as well as a [...]

2014-02-02 17:53

Omnicom taps Mindshare’s Zonfrillo as head of global trading

In its latest move to staff up a central media buying hub, Omnicom has tapped Mindshare‘s Andy Zonfrillo as its CEO of global trading. Zonfrillo will report to Barry Cupples, CEO of global investment for Omnicom Media Group, the network that houses Omnicom media agencies PHD and OMD, as well as data hub Annalect. The agency declined to comment. Zonfrillo spent [...]

2014-02-02 14:29

The art in contemporary Arabic branding

As the Middle East thrives with new business and development opportunities, there is an increasing need for creating new and modern Arab identities. However, branding is still a young and somewhat misunderstood industry in the region. Design decisions are often based purely on aesthetics rather than strategic considerations and are unduly influenced by personal tastes [...]

2014-02-02 14:18

It’s time to shift the focus from mobile to mobility

In an industry that’s obsessed with tapping into the Zeitgeist, we talk about mobile as though it’s the bright and shiny new object in marketing. Are we kidding? This year, smart phone penetration in the United States will hit 80%, tablets will overtake sales of PCs, and already about half of online traffic is taking [...]

2014-01-30 16:13

ZenithOptimedia appoints new chief digital officer

ZenithOptimedia has hired a leading digital strategist to head up the network’s global digital capabilities. Stefan Bardega has been appointed chief digital officer, ZenithOptimedia, and will join the London-based ZenithOptimedia Worldwide division in March. Reporting to Belinda Rowe, global managing partner at ZenithOptimedia, Bardega will set the vision for how digital will elevate the network’s [...]

2014-01-30 15:56

Google MENA appoints Memac Ogilvy as PR agency of record for the UAE

Effective January 1, Google has announced the appointment of Memac Ogilvy Public Relations (MOPR) as agency of record for the UAE. As part of the agreement, MOPR will be responsible for supporting Google’s communications in the region. “Google is one of the most exciting and innovative brands in the world. Google products and services sit at [...]

2014-01-30 15:27

Nokia collaborates with JWT Dubai for new campaign

In collaboration with JWT Dubai, Nokia has released a new campaign targeting Filipinos working in the UAE. Under the title “I’m coming home”, the campaign features visuals inspired by Teks cards, playing cards that contain comic strips and texts placed within speech balloons, which Filipino children collect traditionally. Based on the insight that Filipinos working [...]

2014-01-30 15:12

Digital Media Forum to hold third annual edition

The ever-evolving digital media landscape and the increasing primacy of the digital form of communication will be two of the topics under discussion at the third annual Digital Media Forum (DMF); set around the twin platforms, ‘The Digital Experience: Challenges and Dynamics’ and ‘Recognising Achievements,’ the forum will take place on April 23 and April [...]

2014-01-29 14:56

Chronic polychronism

It is a constant challenge for anyone developing any piece of communication to convince people to give a portion of their time to pay attention to what is being communicated; and in this very quest, a long list of research tools and methodologies have been devised to attain insights to what people might find interesting, [...]

2014-01-28 17:35

JWT partners with AUD for integrated marketing communications course

Following successful partnerships with a number of European and American MBA and academic programmes, JWT Dubai announced its partnership with the American University in Dubai (AUD), for the university’s “Integrated Marketing Communications Development” course, covering the full second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year. By assigning the agency’s managing director, Michiel Hofstee, as the guest [...]

2014-01-28 16:14

Zenith Optimedia identifies six future trends for the next 25 years

Media network Zenith Optimedia has released a report on the transformation of high street retailing “from the place where we buy products and services to a hi-tech world where we experience and interact with brands and products, in both real and virtual environments.” The report, “2038:Six trends for the next 25 years”, is part of [...]

2014-01-28 16:02

Rubix Labs Jeddah keeps busy

Rubix Labs, a fully-fledged and specialized creative traditional, web and social media agency headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has released several works over the past month. As the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s exclusive social media partner, and sponsor of the Hayya Jeddah 2014 shopping festival – which started on January 16 and will end [...]

2014-01-28 15:29

The Network Communication Group expands operations

The Network Communication Group (TNCG) has announced the launch of its Equation Media – the group’s media planning and buying unit-operation in Beirut. Supporting the vision to grow the Equation Media Network and elevate the group’s media offering to current and prospective clients, the group’s AGA Beirut media department has been merged under Equation Media. The [...]

2014-01-28 12:52

Abu Dhabi Racing appoints Newgate Communications as its PR agency

Abu Dhabi Racing has appointed Newgate Communications UAE as an advisor on its public relations and communication strategy. Abu Dhabi Racing is an Abu Dhabi-based company working on a number of initiatives designed to bolster the emirate’s presence in the global motorsport field. Through strategic partnerships,  Abu Dhabi Racing is working to dually promote the [...]

2014-01-28 12:17

Booz & Company releases report on value retention for publishers in MENA

In the MENA region – and despite healthy population growth – readership levels of newsprint have started to decline. And, although there are new readers entering the readership age profile, approximately 70 percent of them are skipping the print versions and becoming digital-only consumers. These developments are, in turn, challenging MENA newsprint publishers’ business models, [...]

2014-01-27 18:28

IPG Mediabrands elevates Henry Tajer to global chief operating officer

IPG Mediabrands, the media innovation arm of Interpublic Group , announced today that  Henry Tajer, currently executive chairman of t IPG Mediabrands Australia, has been elevated to the role of global chief operating officer at IPG Mediabrands, reporting directly to global CEO, Matt Seiler.  Tajer is charged with accelerating the global growth agenda set forth [...]

2014-01-26 18:16

It takes two to tango

I was fortunate enough to have spent 20 years in this region working on both sides of the fence as a client, and once as an agency advocate. When I was on the agency side, the blame was directed at clients for not being focused, not being decisive when it came to making bold decisions, not [...]

2014-01-26 18:00

Liquid Thread sponsors scriptwriting contest at the 2014 MENA Cristal festival

Liquid Thread, media agency Starcom MediaVest Group’s branded content arm, is sponsoring the “Scriptwriting for Brand Content” contest at this year’s MENA Cristal festival, which takes place on February 6 at Lebanon’s Mzaar Kfaerdebian resort. In order to cultivate and encourage the creation of more Arabic content in the region, Liquid Thread and Starcom MediaVest [...]

2014-01-26 17:30

PHD releases book on gamification

Game Change, the latest book from global media and communications agency PHD, discusses how “gamification” can be harnessed and applied as a business model for the future. Although gaming has an unfortunate capacity for attracting negative headlines, Game Change explores the growing evidence and opinions from a number of commentators who argue that gaming can actually be a [...]

2014-01-26 12:39

OMD wins digital strategy account for Beiersdorf

After a  review featuring a number of digital agencies, Beiersdorf has selected OMD to lead, design and execute its comprehensive digital strategy. This move builds on the media services already provided by OMD, which include communications planning and investments, digital display, social media, performance marketing and analytics. Roster digital agencies were also invited to the [...]

2014-01-26 09:59

Kantar report unveils the “Billionaire Club” for brands

The first-ever worldwide ranking of global brands, the Brand Footprint Report, launched by Kantar Worldpanel, indicates that even leading brands have room for improvement in certain markets. The brand ranking reveals that thirteen global brands are being chosen by consumers more than one billion times a year- and this gives them a place in the “Billionaire [...]

2014-01-23 18:21

UAE posts largest number of Instagramers in the Arab world

In a recent report released by Phil Gonazlez, co-founder of Instagramers Gallery - a virtual photo gallery based on a massive photography platform, which enables users to share their photographs with the world -  the UAE ranked number 1 among Arab countries in using Instagram, followed by  Saudi Arabia , Kuwait , Lebanon, Morocco  and Egypt [...]

2014-01-23 17:29

YoungNetwork launches The Brand Leaders

Recently set up Dubai-based marketing agency, YoungNetwork, launched yesterday “The Brand Leaders”, the first online platform in the Middle East gathering opinions of marketing managers and communication directors working in the region on the future of marketing and communications. The website will host short videos with testimonies from representatives of main brands from all sectors of business, [...]

2014-01-23 17:03