Fork Media and Ziff Davis to launch Mashable in the Middle East 

Media and ad tech company, Fork Media has partnered with Ziff Davis to launch Mashable in the Middle East. Falling under the umbrella of Ziff Davis, the multi-platform media brand offers entertainment worldwide including content on technology and digital culture. The partnership aims to create engaging and offbeat English and Arabic content for the MENA region and provide publishers, brands and advertisers a platform to reach a premium audience.

“We entered the Middle East market three years ago as our first international foray and it has grown since then to get huge adoption for our ad-tech platforms and also launch media properties like Curly Tales and Mashable, after successful launches of the same in India,” says Samar Verma, CEO, Fork Media. “Our strong partnership with Ziff Davis continues to grow beyond India with the integrated approach of content, sales and marketing providing the right localisation strategy for these globally popular brands.”

TF1 Group acquires Gamned!

Media holding company, TF1 Group has acquired a majority stake in, Gamned!. Founded in 2009, the programmatic advertising agency aims to combine human expertise and technology to offer multichannel programmatic campaigns to brands and agencies. The acquisition aims to enable TF1 Group to offer high-powered solutions to meet all of its advertisers’ needs.

“We pay tribute to Gamned!’s achievements, talents and technological expertise, which will help us deliver more value from our digital assets and qualified data collected from advertisers,” says Gilles Pélisson, CEO, TF1 Group. “This will enable us to provide advertisers with optimised targeting and enrich the dialogue between our partners and web users beyond our platforms.”

Seven Media launches video production company 

UAE-based communications agency, Seven Media has launched a new video production company, Seven Studios. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Seven Studios will produce cutting-edge social media content, consumer-focused multimedia campaigns, animations and innovative corporate videos across multiple sectors including government, sport, entertainment and hospitality. The company aims to satisfy the demand for multimedia content in the region and has already signed contracts to produce video content for international brands. The new company will also see the appointment of Jim Bartle to the role of Creative Director, where he will work closely with bands, create complex video projects and brainstorm fresh ideas with the creative team.

“This is an exciting and challenging time to work in this market, where we have really ‘seen it all’ and I find that clients are ready to be pitched ever more creative ideas to stand out from the crowd and tell their stories,” says Jim. “I’m certainly looking forward to meeting this challenge as Creative Director of Seven Studios.”

“The power of video story-telling is particularly strong in the Middle East, with 35% of all online time here spent watching video,” says Gregg Fray, Co-Owner, Seven Studios. “There has been a 90% year-on-year increase in mobile watch time and that trend is set to continue, so clearly organisations who want to cut through the noise need to be putting innovative, relevant and shareable video content out in that space. Seven Media has produced video for its PR clients for some time, but we launched Seven Studios in response to a growing demand for stand-alone video and video-led campaigns to really tailor that service.”


Buzzeff launches new display ads

Dubai-based online advertising company Buzzeff launches its new generation of display ads called InRead Display. Buzzeff’s new upgraded ads aim to help advertisers maximise their brands’ exposure towards their target audience without being associated with unwanted content. The new Ad format will also be viewable by design unlike traditional display formats and will be mobile-friendly to increase viewer ability and engagement among consumers.

“When it comes to online advertising, brands always aim to get the best results to capture consumer loyalty and eventually improve sales performance,” says Jerome Mouthon, Founder and Chairman, Buzzeff MEA. “In order to achieve that, the environment in which they reach their market should be set as high priority. Being the first and only company to make inRead Display available in the MEA region, we look forward to assisting different brands not only in their online ad requirements, but also in educating them about the importance of safe advertising online.”

BBC News appoints Middle East Business Reporter

BBC News has appointed Paul Blake to the role of Middle East Business Reporter. With over seven years of experience in journalism, Paul has covered business stories across the East Coast of the USA including the power scandal in Puerto Rico and Trump’s trade wars with China. In his new role, Paul will broadcast live from the Dubai Business Bureau, as well as filming coverage for BBC World News programmes, bring major business stories from the region to the attention of the UK audience.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in this region,” says Paul. “Huge investments are being made, and world-class events staged. I’m thrilled to be covering business and economics in the Middle East for BBC News, and I’m looking forward bringing our global audiences the stories that matter from the region.”

IABC to host EMENAComm

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) will be hosting EMENAComm in the Middle East. Set to take place on February 11-12, 2019 in Bahrain, the communications event will provide the region’s communicators with insights and tools needed to help their organisations achieve strategic transformation through communications. The event will also seek to showcase practices and innovations that are changing how corporations, agencies and NGOs are achieving success through communications and feature keynotes by former Apple executives on how communications played a key role in the company’s turnaround.

“The way we communicate has completely changed, and the role of the communicator is transforming as well,” says Alex Malouf, Past Chair, IABC Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “Communicators have a valuable role to play in every organisation, and EMENAComm will help drive this transformation so that the region’s communicators are both empowered to do more and are recognised as change makers by their organisational leadership.”