phocal Media launches new image collection

Dubai-based platform phocal Media has launched a new image collection, featuring African models, to help cater for local advertising agencies with clients in Africa. A regionally-authentic visual media specialist, phocal Media is currently best known for its arabianEye collection that covers the Arab world. The company also works with a portfolio of strategic international partners including Alamy, Splashnews, Reuters, and Magnum Photos. phocal’s new image collection has been launched with input from Onesizefitsnone, a platform aimed at helping marketers, brands and people understand Africa’s 54 unique countries, who assisted with art and cultural direction.

“We’re aware that an increasing number of advertising agencies in Dubai are picking up business in Africa but struggled to find relevant content for this growing market,” says Greg Aslangul, Managing Director, phocal Media. “We’re always gathering feedback from the local creative community and having seen Onesizefitsnone present at the Dubai Lynx in March, this further highlighted the lack of authentic, relevant content when it comes to African imagery. We’ve started producing content for the Nigerian market and, based on the response, we will look to create further shoots for the Kenyan and Tanzanian markets.”

Media community unite to help friend in need

The UAE’s media community is uniting to help Jeff Price, who has been diagnosed with a rare brain condition that his medical insurance won’t cover. A member of the media community in the UAE for over 22 years, Jeff has hosted numerous radio and TV shows, helped to launch City 7 TV, Radio 1 as well as Radio 2 and voiced family entertainment for many premium events such as Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, Legends Rock Dubai Tennis and Dubai Duty Free Tennis. He has championed causes across the region and raised funds for a number of charities, projects and causes.

Family, friends and colleagues of Jeff have helped to cover his initial surgeries, but he now needs to raise more than AED300, 000 in order to have a valve fitted for a third time to reduce pressure on his brain and for the further medical treatment that will be required in this complex diagnosis. To help, visit

In The Hot Seat – Jerome Mouthon

Founder of Buzzeff, Jerome Mouthon, tells Team TMN about his views on the media industry in the region, as well as the things that he believes make a successful leader…

Name: Jerome Mouthon

Age: 45

From: France

Current Job Title: Founder of Buzzeff

When did you first arrive in Dubai?
I’ve been here since 2013, when we first opened a Buzzeff office in Dubai, after establishing the company in Morocco in 2011. I split my time between both locations, in order to oversee the business in the region. Dubai has opened up so many opportunities for Buzzeff – it’s a very exciting market and I’m glad to be a part of its dynamic advertising industry.

Where did you work prior?
I have been a serial entrepreneur for approximately 20 years and initially founded JMO and Clarsys Corp in the computer services industry in Europe. Those start-ups were sold in 2002 to Firststream, a Pan-European group, and I moved to North Africa later that year. I then founded Sysnek Media Group (offshoring web & business processing outsourcing), which successfully merged to become part of the Finatech Group in 2008. In 2010, I was strongly involved with Solorun investment fund, which was an incubator for internet start-up companies. Finally, in January 2011 I founded Buzzeff Corp MEA.

What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
When I first began working in the Middle East in 2012, I was impressed with the development of the media industry as well as the vast number of international publications that had moved to the region. The quality of journalism here is on a similar level to other key playing markets, especially as the Middle East is becoming a hub for businesses in a variety of industries, including media.

Has your opinion changed much?
If anything, my opinions have been solidified, with news outlets such as Sky News Arabia and Khaleej Times having established themselves as leaders in the region. Furthermore, the growth of the industry has been tremendous, with more agencies and better quality publications starting up as well as more creative and exciting advertising campaigns being run.

Tell us about your current role…
As the Founder & Chairman of Buzzeff, I oversee the company’s growth strategy in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region while driving expansion in specific markets such as those in Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Ivory Coast. This is achieved by partnering and building relationships with publishing houses and advertising agencies to ensure we are continuously growing our premium inventory at scale and providing a wider demographic of audience to view the targeted adverts.

What challenges do you face?
The challenges I face are similar to those faced by most fast-paced companies in the industry. The environment and technology is constantly changing, the competition is tough and it is often difficult to educate the market about outstreaming advertising opportunities. In addition, usual business challenges also apply including general personnel management, cash management, customer satisfaction management and more. It is thanks to the help of my team, that
I am able to manage all of these elements.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?Firstly, I find it extremely rewarding that the business is up, running and growing at a promising rate. My day is made when we receive positive feedback from clients who are happy with our service because the technology has made their brand’s advertising more effective. Also, the team’s hard work is something I deeply appreciate because their efforts have helped the organisation grow; it is highly rewarding to watch their skill sets and careers develop.

What do you think is the secret to successful leadership?
Leadership is not about capabilities, leadership is about responsibility. It requires good judgment, predictability acumen and the ability to make effective decisions, deliver results and lead by example.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in media in the UAE?
The constant growth of businesses in the UAE brings forth many opportunities to start a career, especially in the media industry. I would advise people entering the market to do their homework and become well-acquainted with publishing houses, agencies and most importantly, with consumer trends – the better you understand what makes the consumer tick, the more value you will be able to add as you enter the industry.

What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
The quality of reporting in the Middle East is of a very high standard with many of the reputable publications. However, I would also like to see more start-up magazines with great writing and reporting, as well as unique story ideas that showcase different perspectives.

In your opinion, what makes a marketing campaign successful?
For an audience to truly engage with a marketing campaign and in order to make it successful, a well crafted story, context and good narrative is necessary. Targeting campaigns through the right channels is also key, you need to research and know where your audience is consuming content.

Would you rather be contacted by phone or email?
I like both, unless I’m traveling and am affected by time zone differences. Generally, e-mails are the best form of communicating while I’m on a flight. Otherwise, I enjoy the discipline of sharing a short memo after a business call for follow-up needs.

Work calls via landline, mobile or both?
Either, as long as they bring business opportunities! I also enjoy daily contact via social media networks.

Describe yourself in five words…
An emotionally intelligent, communicative, entrepreneurial individual.

What’s your most overused saying?
Let’s try it or do it first. The meeting and the process can come later.

Five things you can’t live without?
Family, my close friends, connected smartphone, multicoloured sport shoes and entrepreneurship.

On a more personal note, what agency online faux-pas make your ‘digital’ self cringe?
Brands are being too generic with advertising and not treating their targeting methods with an individual approach. Content needs to be created with clear messaging and relevance so that the consumer will be more inclined to it. The core creative idea of the ad should be short, aesthetic and musical.

If you could change one thing about media in the UAE, what would it be?
I would create a wider exchange between parties. Advertisers are busy with their business, agencies are focusing on optimisation and publishers and other third parties are also dispersed. Getting all of them around the same table more often and in a qualitative way would definitely be beneficial to all, including consumers’ audiences.

How do you see media changing in the UAE in the coming years?
I see a larger push for publishers to go online, with an increased digital and social presence. As a result, I think there will be more digital adverts and campaigns in order to reach a larger and more targeted audience. The GCC region has a high potential for premium inventory growth.

The Qode welcomes Layal Ghosn

The Qode has welcomed Layal Ghosn to the role of Senior Communications Executive. Formerly a Senior Account Executive, Layal has over three years of experience in media and has worked in Lebanon, as well as the UAE. In her new role, Layal will manage luxury beauty and lifestyle accounts, liaise with clients and the media on a daily basis, execute strategic PR campaigns and undertake research for new business proposals and presentations.
“The Qode is an exceptional place to work,” says Layal, “The team here consistently exceeds industry standards in creating a work environment in which an employee can thrive, grow and develop skills for the future. I am super glad to be handling an array of luxury brands and developing catered strategies for all.”

Inc. Arabia launches

Inc. Arabia, the regional edition of Inc. magazine, has launched. Focussing on growing companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the magazine aims to offer news, advice and inspiration to those involved in the new economy, such as CEOs and venture capitalists as well as student entrepreneurs and startup employees. Inc. Arabia‘s editorial content will fit into six sections; LAUNCH, BUILD, LEAD, INNOVATE, TECH and MONEY, with each covering different stages of business growth.

The first edition of the monthly magazine is currently on news stands at a price of AED 15 and its first phase of circulation, approximately 15,000 copies, is being distributed across the UAE as well as in Kuwait and Qatar. The publication will eventually also be distributed in the Levant as well as Egypt, before finally expanding into Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC region.

“The Middle East and North Africa is on the cusp of an entrepreneurial breakout and, as such, we feel that our timing to come to this market has been on the money,” says Ankush Chibber, Managing Editor, Inc. Arabia. “Having said that, we will be honest and humble in our approach, with an aim to be a crucial part of this growing ecosystem. We don’t want to be just a magazine, but a platform where all the stakeholders in the ecosystem come together and are able to exchange and validate ideas, insights, strategies and achievements using our print, digital and event channels.”

Dubai Opera and ARN form partnership

 Dubai Opera and the Arabian Radio Network (ARN) have formed a strategic partnership with the aim of developing a community of performing arts fans in the UAE. The multi-year agreement will see the development of new programming on talk radio station Dubai Eye 103.8, which will become the official radio channel for Dubai Opera, playing host to  interviews with talent visiting the new venue, located in Dubai’s Opera District.
“With some of the world’s greatest artists and productions announced for Dubai Opera it is fantastic to have the support of Dubai Eye 103.8, part of Arabian Radio Network, to help develop a strong community of audiences to enjoy the very best in live entertainment in the heart of Dubai,” says Jasper Hope, Chief Executive, Dubai Opera.
Mahmoud Al Rasheed, General Manager, ARN, adds “We see this as an investment in the development of arts and culture in the UAE and as the largest radio multi media company we have a responsibility to ensure we support a diverse range of genres that reflect the makeup of the UAE population.”

Distripress Congress to be held in Dubai

This year’s edition of the Distripress Congress is set to be held in Dubai on Monday, 3 October until Thursday, 6 October, 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre. This will be the first time the congress is to be held in the Middle East and the event will act as an international meeting point for everyone involved in the distribution and marketing of newspapers and periodicals. Already confirmed speakers for the 2016 Distripress Congress include Peter Newbould, International Trading Director, W H Smith; Anne-Marie Couderc, President, Presstalis; and John Lafranier, CEO, Disticor.

TishTash promotes Zainab Imichi Alhassan

TishTash Marketing and Public Relations has promoted Zainab Imichi Alhassan to the role of Senior Account Manager. Previously a Public Relations Manager with the agency, Zainab will continue to manage clients across the agency’s beauty, health and wellness portfolios, as well as taking on more responsibility in the management of TishTash’s growing PR Team.
“I could not be more impressed with Zainab and her progress, promotion and contribution to my team,” says Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, Founder and Managing Director, TishTash Marketing and Public Relations. “I am excited to see her continue to grow in her new position and further support us in this exciting time of growth at TishTash.”