Starcom makes new appointment 

Starcom, part of Publicis Media, has appointed Racha Makarem to the role of Regional CEO. With over 15 years of experience in the agency, Racha previously worked as Head of the Analytics and Insights Practice and most recently held the role of Managing Director of the Data Science Practice. In her new role, she will elevate the passion and collaborative spirit of Stardom to drive change while also continuing to build the agency’s deliverables against the increasing demand for data.

“Over the past 15 years, my expertise has been in helping our clients solve complex business problems from the lens of the consumer, mining data and delivering actionable insights,” says Racha. “Previously, as the head of the Publicis Media Data & Science Practice, my role was to build this expertise across our network and client teams, fueling marketing transformation in an age where data is prevalent.  In my role as CEO, I will accelerate this momentum, ensuring that we continue to shape the industry.  My priorities, leading Starcom, the Human Experience Company are; to work closely with our clients to create real solutions that accelerate their growth, to leverage actionable data and technology to deliver marketing transformation, and to invest in our people who will drive the capabilities around data, technology and performance to propel the growth of our clients business in today’s digital economy. We have never faced a more dynamic time to be in our business and I’m excited to be at the helm of Starcom, leading into tomorrow.”

Memac Ogilvy welcomes new Managing Director 

Memac Ogilvy has appointed Philippe Berthelot to the role of Managing Director. With a wealth of experience in delivering award-winning creative campaigns globally, Philippe most recently worked with brands such as Pepsi, Lays, Google and France 24. In his new role, Philippe will lead the agency’s operations and focus on delivering modern marketing solutions to help increase awareness of its brands.

“I’ve always been an experience junkie, always needed a challenge, and always needed to grow in my career – that’s what’s led me across the world from the creative to the account side,” says Philippe Berthelot, Managing Director, Memac Ogilvy UAE. “The truth is, consumers have changed as well. They seem to care less about brands today. That’s why our goal is to create purposeful work that makes brands matter in peoples’ lives. It’s as simple as that.”

Create Media Group makes new appointments 

Digital communications agency, Create Media Group has appointed Sandra Khawand to the role of Account Director. With over four years of experience in the region, Sandra most recently worked with brands such as Dubai Tourism, GoPro and Nestlé. In her new role, she will take the lead on the agency’s new accounts, develop strong and innovative social media strategies while ensuring the progress and growth of each account.

Create Media Group will also see the appointment of Diogo Bernado to the role of Account Manager. With a wealth of experience in paid social media management across the Middle East, Diogo is a digital strategist from Lisbon and has worked with brands such as Emirates, Chanel, Swarovski and Hyundai. In his new role, he will be responsible for driving key social media accounts and delivering creative campaigns, focusing mainly on paid media and social media management.

“Both Sandra and Diogo bring a wealth of global account management experience and we’re really looking forward to seeing the impact they’re going to have both on our culture and our new client accounts,” says Tom Otton, Managing Director, Create Media Group.

TishTash makes new appointment 

Dubai-based marketing and PR agency, TishTash has appointed Alison Bowers to the role of Marketing and Events Executive. With a wealth of experience working in the UK before moving to the UAE, Alison most recently worked with brands such as H&M and Boohoo. In her new role, she will support the team on all events for the agency, manage consumer databases and CRM, oversee partnerships and support with marketing and promotional activities.

“TishTash is such an incredible brand, with such a good ethos,” says Alison. “That was really important to me when I moved to Dubai, to find those fundamental common values in a company, so I didn’t settle for anything less. As soon as I met Tash and her team, I knew this is where I wanted to be. The best thing is, we all love what we do. I am excited to be a part of such an innovative team.”

Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, TishTash, Founder and Managing Director, continues, “There are some people you meet and straight away you feel like you’ve known them forever and that’s how I feel with Alison. Her can-do attitude, fun-filled personality, passion for events and trying new things made her perfect to support us.”

Custard welcomes new General Manager 

Dubai-based event management agency, Custard has appointed Michelle Clarke to the role of General Manager. With a wealth of experience as an events professional, Michelle previously worked with leading brands in the MENA region and England for over 15 years. She most recently worked within the agency where she held the role of Client Services Director. In her new role, Michelle will be responsible for the leadership of the business and team, oversee operations and event delivery.

“I’m delighted to have been granted the opportunity to become Custard’s General Manager,” says Michelle. “I’m looking forward to working hard with our amazing team to achieve even higher levels of creativity and event execution, to ensure we are providing our clients with world class events!”

House of Comms welcomes new Head of Digital 

Integrated communications agency, House of Comms has appointed David O’Sullivan to the role of Head of Digital. With over 15 years of experience in digital strategy and transformation for brands such as The Kraft Heinz Company, Mercedes Benz, Emirates Group, NBC Universal, LG Electronics and Marks & Spencer. In his new role, he will drive strategic and creative data-driven technology solutions to broader business problems.

“The team at House of Comms is dedicated and passionate about the work they do, and I am really glad to be part of the family,” says David. “It’s amazing to see a traditionally comms-focused agency move heavily into the data and tech arena as this is exactly where the market is moving. The need for businesses to gel and refine experiences across the board, almost always through technology with web, app, social, e-marketing, digital media, tech-based experiential and digital content, is crucial and absolutely central to most brand/product strategies.”

Jamie Wilks, Managing Partner, continues, “We’re buzzing to have David on board as we enter a new era for House of Comms.  We’ve been building web, app and creative tech solutions for years of course but now we can elevate our offering further as tech becomes an essential consideration for all comms strategies, product design, customer experiences and effective employee engagement.”

Vogue Arabia makes new appointment 

Vogue Arabia has appointed Ravi Raman to the role of Associate Publisher. With over 20 years of experience in content strategy, revenue generation and brand marketing, he has previously worked with Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East and The Telegraph and most recently worked with Khaleej Times where he held the role of Senior Vice President. In his new role, he will deliver influential content and brand experience for readers.

“I am excited to join such an iconic brand and an immensely talented team,” says Ravi. “Within a short span the premium portfolio of Vogue Arabia, Pop Sugar and other experiential platforms have been established as the strongest voice in the region. In an increasingly connected world, readers are getting extremely choosy about where they spend their time.”

RAPP ME welcomes new Managing Director 

RAPP ME has appointed Mimi Nicklin to the role of Managing Director. With a wealth of experience in strategic and creative communications, Mimi previously worked across brands in South Africa including Coca-Cola, Kimberley Clarke, Samsung and Unilever and most recently worked with WPP Team GSK in Singapore where she held the role of Vice President. In her new role, she will focus on new strategic insights and creativity and strive for mass impact while leveraging data to drive delivery.

“In a time when the whole world is saying the same thing and many agencies offer a very similar offering I think it’s the quality of the talent that creates loyalty to our agency brands,” says Mimi. “My number one focus is on our people, our environment, our culture and our brand, ensuring that the team at RAPP are the most fulfilled and valued in our industry.” makes new appointment has appointed Salma Haidrani to the role of Features Editor. Awarded with ‘Young Journalist of the Year,’ ‘Young Stationers’ Prize for Journalism and Communications’ and ‘Best Feature’ at the End Violence Against Women Media Awards, Salma has most recently worked with publications such as Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, The Pool and Vice. In her new role, she will work across multi-platform news and features for including lifestyle, culture, fashion and beauty.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at, and look forward to writing quality content for stylish, sophisticated women in the Gulf,” says Salma. “Emirates Woman is the longest-running women’s title in the UAE, and it’s a big part of life in the Emirates for so many women here, so I’m excited to become part of  the team and add my voice to the title.”


MCN MEDIABRANDS has appointed Shadi Kandil to the role of Chief Executive Officer across the MENAT region. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry, Shadi initially worked with Omnicom Media Group where he moved to the role of CEO OMD MENA. In his new role, Shadi will increase the MCN MEDIABRAND’s offering and contribute greater value to client businesses.

“I’m honoured and thrilled to lead MCN MEDIABRANDS across MENAT and to work with our talented and passionate team to advance our clients’ missions,” says Shadi. “We live in exciting times and this gives us greater incentive to effect change and build for the future.