Alexander Pieri joins Facilities Management ME

Alexander Sophoclis Pieri has been appointed as the Deputy Editor for Facilities Management Middle East. Bringing a wide range of editorial experience to the ITP Publishing team, Alexander most recently held the position of Contributor and Freelance Writer for Forbes Middle East and prior to this was the Technology Editor for the aforementioned magazine. In his new role, he will manage the editorial content for the monthly B2B publication.

TRA publishes YouTube White Paper

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a white paper regarding YouTube usage as part of its ‘UAE Social Media White Papers’ collection. Highlighting the terms and conditions for use of popular social networks in the UAE, YouTube has been the focus of the latest release, which has more than one billion unique visitors every month and over 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.

With regards to the UAE’s use of YouTube, the White Paper – which reminds users they are prohibited from ‘predatory behaviour’, ‘stalking, threats and the harassment of others’ – also highlights the following conditions –

  • The laws of the UAE prohibit the publication of content which is contrary to public morals, the principles of Islam and the social and moral welfare of the UAE, or any content that contains irreverence towards Islam and any other heavenly religions.
  • Users must only upload videos which they have made or which they are authorised to use.
  • YouTube is owned by Google. In using the YouTube service, users agree to Google’s terms relating to the collection and sharing of personal information.

Full versions of the white papers are accessible via the TRA’s official website –

Promoted Pins to be made available to all partners

As of January 1, 2015, Pinterest’s reservation-based Promoted Pins (available at a CPM) will be made accessible to all advertisers. Having launched a Promoted Pins beta for its brand advertisers eight months ago, the official announcement from Pinterest noted the following points that have been obtained from the beta –

  • Promoted Pins perform as good and sometimes better than organic Pins: brand advertisers achieved a 30% bump in earned media from their campaigns (that’s from people who saw a Promoted Pin and thought it was good enough to save to one of their own boards).
  • Engagement is strong: the average Pin is repined 11 times – this has also been found with Promoted Pins.
  • Promoted Pins perform long after a campaign ends: Pinterest saw an extra 5% bump in earned media in the month following the end of a campaign.
  • Auction-based Promoted Pins (CPC) are also seeing success: Many self-serve beta partners are seeing major gains in traffic and impressions. Pinterest is currently making tweaks to the product before it’s released to all businesses.

In addition to this, Pinterest has introduced the Pinstitute – a new program designed for brands to learn how to better connect with their target market, focusing on creative and measurement. As it stands, only a select number of brands and agencies have been invited to attend the quarterly held Pinstitute workshops, the first scheduled for March, 2015. However, a series of webinars and online learning tools are to be made available for small businesses.

Abu Dhabi Media signs MoU with RAI COM

Abu Dhabi Media has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RAI COM, a leading Italian television operator working across public service, broadcasting, radio, satellite and digital platforms. The MoU agreement between Abu Dhabi Media and RAI COM will ultimately unite both geographic markets and will allow each organisation to continue promoting tourism and cultural interests, in addition to creating awareness of EXPO 2015 and EXPO 2020, which are set to take place in Milan and the UAE respectively.

“This MoU is yet another significant milestone in Abu Dhabi Media’s mission to build awareness of the UAE’s achievements locally, regionally and internationally, and reaffirms the nation’s leadership position as an international cultural, economic and financial hub,” says His Excellency Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Media. “Our partnership with RAI COM will facilitate knowledge transfer and best practice exchanged across several facets of the media industry including production, publishing and digital.”

Luigi de Siervo, Managing Director of RAI COM adds, “The signature of this agreement between RAI COM and Abu Dhabi Media represents for RAI the act for a future and long lasting mutual cooperation. It also confirms the willingness of the two countries to develop a continuous partnership. The first objective is to grant a complete coverage and detailed information about EXPO 2015 in the UAE. This will pave the road for a successful EXPO 2020 taking place in the UAE.”

The strategic partnership will see Abu Dhabi Media work in close cooperation on brand logistics and production, with each organisation benefitting from the resources and support through a series of communications and initiatives aimed at promoting activities to diverse audiences across local and international markets.

Al Jazeera Arabic reaches 10 million FB followers

Al Jazeera Arabic has become the first Arab news channel to reach ten million followers on Facebook. Having already secured its status as the most-watched Arab channel on TV, this Facebook achievement further highlights Al Jazeera’s goal to become the number one pan-Arab news outlet across all media platforms.

“The Arab viewer since 1996 has evolved from a TV viewer to someone who now absorbs news content on TV, tablets, desktops and mobile whenever and wherever they want,” says Yaser Abuhilalah, Managing Director, Al Jazeera Arabic. “Al Jazeera will always hold true to its values of journalism and fearless reporting, however it will change and adapt to new technology and platforms on which it is delivered. The constant evolution in news consumption is not due to the strategy of the channel but is due to the partnership with you, the viewer, the follower and the consumer. Each of the ten million followers on Facebook is a partner, same as anyone who shares our content on Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus, as well as the person who watches Al Jazeera on TV. I hope the partnership will expand and will continue to be enhanced.”

Al Jazeera Arabic’s Facebook page provides followers the ability to engage with the latest news, analysis and features. In December 2014, the page reach improved from appearing on 1.5 million timelines daily to 4 million. At the same time, the rate of engagement through comments, shares and clicks increased from 100,000 to 220,000 per day.

Jeddah to host Digital Media Forum 2015

Jeddah has been appointed as the venue for the annual Digital Media Forum (DMF), to be held January 21-22, 2015, at the Park Hyatt Jeddah. Industry professionals, digital experts and industry leaders from the wider MENA region and globally will discuss the challenges faced and the dynamics in their respective markets, as well as examine the digital powers that are driving the future of media and what it takes to ensure fast market growth.

“We are delighted to bring the Digital Media Forum to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time, especially since the country has a predominantly young population that has made digital communications and social media a vital part of their everyday lives,” says Najla Mazboudi, Managing Director, SPOTON Media Services and Events and Founder, Digital Media Forum. “Also, it is the region’s biggest market, as the Kingdom’s huge commercial and retail sectors have been quick to adopt digital media platforms to reach out and get close to consumers. Building on the success of our four previous events, DMF 2015 will be a fully integrated forum that presents the latest developments in digital media and offers delegates the opportunity to engage and network with each other.”

Among the topics on the agenda for DMF 2015’s day one will include: digital customer service experience; challenges to implement a global practice; mobile: from footprint to footprint, and a panel discussion on coping with the speed of digital development. Day two will include a presentation on how to integrate different digital media platforms for a successful marketing strategy; a presentation on a consistent measurement of audiences across platforms as the precondition for a successful marketing strategy and a panel discussion on delivering the ‘right’ digital experiences.

Founded in Dubai, the Digital Media Forum Jeddah 2015 is supported by a number of sponsors, including Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Digital Media Services (DMS) as Strategic Partners and Dotmena as Gold Sponsor. TRACCS is the PR partner for the event in Saudi Arabia.

Cosmopolitan Middle East welcomes new Editor

Cosmopolitan Middle East’s Brooke Sever has been promoted to the position of Editor of the lifestyle publication, where she previously held the Deputy Editor role. Bringing extensive editorial experience to her new position, Brooke has been a part of the ITP Publishing team for the past four years, first as Editor for Sound & Stage magazine and then as Features Editor for Ahlan!, before moving on to Cosmopolitan Middle East.

Carat MENA expands into Bahrain

Carat MENA, global media planning & buying specialist and a part of Dentsu Aegis Media, has appointed Bahrain-based marketing communications group Gulf Marcom Group, as a partner to support its clients with interests in the Kingdom. Gulf Marcom Media House, the media planning and buying arm of Gulf Marcom Group, will represent Carat’s client portfolio that includes British Airways, General Motors, Ikea and Total amongst others.

“The affiliation with Carat connects our local insight, based on 30 years of experience, with its global tools and buying power that will add tremendous value for brands operating in Bahrain,” says Thamer Al Muqla, Managing Director, Gulf Marcom Group. “The partnership will also be leveraged by the wider Gulf Marcom Group, which includes agencies in branding, advertising, event management and digital.”

Ahmad Haider, Managing Director for Carat Saudi Arabia and who will manage operations in Bahrain adds, “This new partnership illustrates the importance Carat is placing on Bahrain’s media market, which has seen significant growth in recent years, and the subsequent need to support our clients in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This market has huge promise fuelled by urbanisation and a growing sense of consumerism, and we are pleased to partner with a well-established and respected group.”