Publicis consolidates regional LeoComm offices

Publicis Communications has consolidated its six-office LeoComm PR network in the Middle East under the brand of MSLGroup, its strategic communications and engagement firm. Leocomm offices in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will now become MSLGROUP in the Middle East, while remaining part of the Publicis Communications MEA portfolio of agencies, which also includes; Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Flip Media, Arc and Saatchi & Saatchi. MSLGROUP’s Communications and Network Consulting (CNC) Network also has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, servicing mostly corporate and public affairs clients, which will remain a separate unit inside of MSLGROUP.
“We are thrilled to grow our network in the Middle East,” says Guillaume Herbette, CEO MSLGROUP. “LeoComm PR brings to the table specialised communications expertise, vast knowledge of the Middle East and an in-depth understanding of regional market trends. Together, we look forward to providing our global and regional clients with a full scope of integrated public relations services.”
Raja Trad, CEO, Publicis Communications Middle East and Africa, adds “In recent years, LeoComm PR has built a strong legacy of growth, one rooted in a powerful ‘think global, act local’ communications strategy. Today the agency’s new identity will help further crystallise this approach and cement its mission to deliver fully-integrated, all-encompassing public relations services.”

Jumeirah appoints Group Vice President

Dubai-based luxury hotel company Jumeirah Group has appointed Yousef Tuqan to the role of Group Vice President of Brand Marketing and Loyalty. With over 20 years of experience in digital strategy and media in the region, Yousef has previously worked for both regional and international brands including; Careem, Leo Burnett MENA and Flip Media.

“Having worked with Jumeirah early on in my career I have always admired this iconic, homegrown global brand,” says Yousef. “I’m incredibly excited to lead the Jumeriah brand’s evolution.”

Yas Marina Circuit launches YasHUB app

Yas Marina Circuit has launched the YasHUB smartphone and tablet app. In partnership with SMG Mobility – the mobile division of Starcom MediaVest Group – and Flip Media, 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, as well as provide a seamless end-user experience for visitors to the circuit on race weekend. Yas Marina Circuit commissioned the app as part of its wider strategy on providing digital solutions to improve customer engagement experiences, as well as reinforcing its position in driving online motorsports content creation in the region. The app is available for free download at the Apple and Google Play Android stores and offers a range of features to users.

“This app really does enhance visitors’ experiences massively in the build up to and during the race weekend,” says Nick McElwee, Director of Sales and Marketing, Yas Marina Circuit. “But more importantly, its development signifies Yas Marina Circuit’s evolution away from our previous incarnation as a traditional advertiser for our first Grand Prix in 2009, and towards our new reality as a content publisher and media brand.”

Dimitri Papadimitriou, Director of Mobile at Starcom MediaVest Group adds, “This is a testament to SMG Mobility’s support for our clients’ leap into the mobile arena. Mobile is integral for our clients’ businesses, and we have created a suite of in-house digital capabilities to build mobile creative and develop apps.”

Clive Primrose, Client Services Director at Flip Media concludes, “This is a pioneering moment for apps in the Middle East. The focus on digital customer experience and bringing the pillars of the event to life through creativity and technology are what place it at the forefront.”

Promotion for Yousef Tuqan at Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett has announced the promotion of Flip Media’s CEO, Yousef Tuqan, to the position of Chief Innovation Officer of Leo Burnett Group of Companies MENA, effective January 1, 2014. Kareem Monem will take over Leo Burnett-owned Flip Media, the region’s largest digital agency, as its new Managing Director.

In his new role, Tuqan will create an environment of experimentation within the Group, encouraging its creative teams to combine the Leo Burnett HumanKind philosophy with innovations and breakthrough technologies. Working with Leo Burnett’s Managing Directors around the region, and with the Leo Burnett MENA digital leadership team, he will map future plans for growth and development to better meet the needs of clients.

“Innovation is the key to combining creativity and technology and with his extensive background Yousef is well positioned to take his involvement with the Group to the next level,” says Raja Trad, CEO, Leo Burnett Group of Companies MENA. “Under his guidance, our teams will be encouraged to go beyond the norm in seeking new creative solutions to our clients’ needs, further establishing Leo Burnett as not only a leading source of innovative work, but as an avant-garde agency setting new standards across the advertising board. We welcome Yousef into his new role, and wish him the best of luck.”

Tuqan joins Leo Burnett following an eight year tenure at Flip Media, during which time he has served as CEO since 2007, and has worked with Leo Burnett across the Group’s network since Flip Media’s acquisition by Leo Burnett in 2012. With close to two decades of regional experience, Tuqan is at the forefront of the digital industry and is a respected digital marketing expert who frequently participates in industry and innovation seminars and events. He is a Board Member of the International Advertising Association’s UAE Chapter, as well as a Goodwill Ambassador for the children’s charity, Gulf for Good.

“I am delighted by this opportunity,” said Tuqan. “Since Flip’s acquisition in 2012 by Leo Burnett, I’ve worked extensively across the Leo Burnett network with some amazing people and iconic brands. I look forward to building the agency of the future with them.”

Kareem Monem, who has been announced as the new Managing Director of Flip Media, has more than 10 years of international experience in leading digital agencies and software companies. Before joining Flip in 2012 as its Practice Director, he worked in the UK with a number of leading digital agencies and software companies, on top consumer brand accounts such as GSK and Vodafone. During his time with Flip, he has developed new market areas of operation for the agency with clients in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar and the US.

“Kareem is the ideal person to write the next chapter in Flip’s story,” says Yousef. “He’s earned the respect of everyone around him, and has a clear vision on how he and the Flip Media management team will build on our success into the future. I look forward to us working together in the years ahead within our agency network.”