octOpus wins at 20th Summit Creative Awards

The Summit International Awards has presented octOpus Advertising with a Bronze at the 2014 Summit Creative Awards. The Summit Creative Awards celebrates the creative achievements of small and medium-sized advertising agencies worldwide with annual billings under $30 million. This year saw over 5,000 submissions from 24 countries, with Dubai-based octOpus being recognised for its entry in the B2B Service Website category; creative work done on the Indoogoo website, which provides a free marketing and procurement solution for members of Indoogoo, a global trading network for the heavy industry. The 20th annual creative competition was held in Oregon, USA.

“Indoogoo is a unique business, the first of its kind,” says Jon Fraser, Managing Director, octOpus. “The Indoogoo website represents a paradigm shift in the way that heavy equipment is traded and planned globally. octOpus has created a social media platform for the heavy industry that facilitates trade and business connections across eight industrial categories including oil and gas, construction, marine vessels, mining, cranes, transport, earthmoving and compaction, and farm and forestry. The Summit Creative Awards has recognised the unique and creative approach that octOpus took for the Indoogoo brand. We are thrilled to have been recognised for this.”

Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director for the Summit International Awards adds, “Winning a Summit Creative Award is a significant accomplishment in one’s career. With vetted judges, tough judging criteria, blind judging processes and strict bylaws limiting winners, only deserving entries receive recognition, and octOpus scored among the very best. The website was cleverly structured to simplify both social interactions and sales transactions among its members. Its user-friendly interface and creativity made octOpus’ entry a favourite among the judges.”

GCC Government Social Media Summit announced

The 3rd annual GCC Government Social Media Summit will return to Dubai from 17-18 September 2014, with a new format to explore how innovative social networks can be leveraged by governments and organisations to achieve their communications and strategic goals. Held under the theme of ‘innovative social networks for effective collaboration and smart governance’, this year’s summit allows delegates to choose from seven workshops based on their specific industry sectors. These interactive sessions provide unique insight, proven social media strategies and in-depth training to attendees from sectors such as social business, tourism, healthcare, defense, government, education and foreign affairs.

Another new feature of the 2014 summit is a dedicated advisory board to help shape and develop timely and topical content for the event sessions. The advisory board hosts top specialists from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, MemacOgilvy, the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, and government advisory firm Exantium.

“The use of social media has grown exponentially in our region over the last few years,” says Ibrahim El Badawi, Founder and CEO, Exantium. “Today, there are more than 135 million internet users in the Arab world, and more than 71 million of these use social media actively. With internet penetration rising at an annual rate of 20%, regional governments today are starting to realise social media’s growing role in the instantaneous provision of news and information to the public. The GCC Government Social Media Summit provides professionals with the opportunity to discuss how social media channels can help government bodies effectively communicate with their various audience groups.”

Interested participants can receive an all-access pass for the summit at a 25% discount if they register by 15 June 2014. Registrations are currently open at www.socialmedia-series.com/GCC.

Eva Glele joins Active PR

Eva Glele has joined Active PR as Account Director. Eva joins the team from London, where she previously worked for Regus, the multinational corporation providing flexible workspaces, and was responsible for the design and implementation of corporate communication strategy across 28 MEA countries. Eva brings with her over 10 years of experience in domestic and global PR strategies in both agency and in-house roles, having worked across a range of B2B and B2C sectors.

‘I am very excited to have joined Active PR,” says Eva. “The team are truly a bunch of passionate and top-notch PR professionals, and I’m really looking forward to working closely with them and supporting in driving the agency’s growth ambitions. These are exciting times to join, and I can’t wait to bring my strategic thinking and international experience to further add value to our existing and upcoming clients.”

Sawsan Ghanem, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Active PR adds, “We are delighted to have Eva join our team. She is a very strategic addition and we believe that her vision, talent and experience will be key in further supporting our business growth.”

Ziff Davis and T-Break Media launch AskMen ME

Ziff Davis, the US-based digital media company, has announced an expanded licensing agreement with T-Break Media to publish men’s lifestyle portal, AskMen Middle East. Established in 1999, AskMen has become a global influence on men’s lifestyle matters, and the launch will combine content from AskMen’s worldwide network of contributors with locally created content specific for the Middle Eastern audience. The Middle East edition will initially be available in English, with Arabic content to be added in the near future, and will be available in more than 15 countries in the MENA region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Egypt.

“Working with T-Break Media to launch the male lifestyle digital brand in the Middle East was a natural evolution of our successful partnership with them on IGN Middle East,” says Adam Doree, International Business Development Director, Ziff Davis. “There has never been a more exciting time for the AskMen brand, with several new international editions rolling out now, and all of them based on the widely celebrated re-imagined AskMen site which recently won Digiday’s ‘Best Design Award’.”

Nick Rego, Senior Editor of AskMen Middle East adds, “We are extremely excited to be launching AskMen in the Middle East. The male demographic in the region is know for having an appreciation for a premium lifestyle, and this passion aligns perfectly with the content featured on AskMen. Our goal is to be a one-stop source for men on all facets of their life – everything from taking care of their health to the latest fashion trends. We have a very exciting year ahead of us, and we are proud to be bringing our knowledge and expertise to a demographic that is constantly looking for ways to better themselves.”

EDGAR Daily launches online

EDGAR Middle East has announced the launch of its online platform, www.EDGARdaily.com. With Neil Churchill as Online Editor, the digital arm of the men’s luxury lifestyle magazine will provide daily content on all the things people have come to recognise about the brand – from in-depth reportage features and exclusive interviews, to style tips and regular reviews of the latest cars, bars, spas and travel destinations.

“We are thrilled to have launched EDGARdaily.com,” says Matthew Priest, Editor-in-Chief, EDGAR Middle East.“The website not only allows us to provide our readers additional value along side the monthly magazine, but it also shows our commitment to the digital growth of the men’s lifestyle sector that the region is crying out for.”

KLCM findings announced

The findings of the third annual Ketchum Leadership Communications Monitor (KLCM) have been released. The global study polled 6,509 people in 13 countries for their views on effective leadership, effective communication and the link between the two.

Signalling the rise of a new ‘feminine’ model for leadership communication, the research found that female leaders globally came out comfortably ahead on all of the top-five most crucial traits for effective leadership. In the UAE, these global findings are mirrored in all cases except ‘leading by example’. Female leaders were voted higher in key leadership attributes; communicating in an open and transparent way (61% female leaders vs. 39% male leaders), bringing out the best in others (56% vs. 44%), and admitting mistakes (61% vs. 39%). The trend has not yet overturned the feeling that male leaders are better in a crisis with handling controversial issues or crises calmly (42% vs. 58%) in the UAE – showing a wider gap than the global average of 48% vs. 52%. However, and most likely due to the historical, political and cultural landscape in the UAE, 63% rate male leaders (higher than the global average of 54%) as most likely to navigate us through challenging times over the next five years.

“This is not to say that all future leaders should be women, and that men have no place in leadership,” says Rod Cartwright, Partner and Director, Ketchum’s Global Corporate and Public Affairs Practice. “Rather, our findings reveal vitally important lessons for leaders of both genders, as they continue to grapple with the ongoing leadership crisis.”

Nicola Gregson, Managing Director of Ketchum-Raad Middle East adds, “This research is finally putting to rest the flawed assumption that women need to come across as aggressive, vocal or dominant leaders to make their mark. Given that many perceive this region as having mainly male dominated leadership, it is interesting to see the UAE following a global trend citing the future of leadership communication as more ‘feminine’. We are seeing the birth and acceptance of a new model of leadership communication based on transparency, collaboration, genuine dialogue, clear values and the alignment of words and deeds; a model being followed far more consistently by female leaders.”

KLCM also indicates that the global leadership ‘crisis’ persists as consumers continue to be disillusioned with their leaders. Looking at leaders across sectors, only 22% of those surveyed feel leaders are demonstrating effective leadership – down from 25% last year. However, faith in business leaders is growing in the UAE, with 31% of responders (up from 28% in 2013) choosing business leaders as demonstrating the most effective leadership – higher than any other sector leaders. About half (45%) feel that business leaders are effective communicators, higher than the global average of 35%. In total, 88% of responders in the UAE have the same or more confidence in business leaders than in 2013.

Additionally, in line with global findings, 47% of responders in the UAE have named trustworthiness as the most important attribute for corporations, more so than financial strength (28%) and corporate social responsibility (27%).

Now in its third year, the KLCM study of 2014 has underlined the importance of the Good Leader Formula: Credible Leadership = Open Communication + Decisive Action + Personal Presence.

Entourage launches campaign for students

Entourage Marketing & Events has launched a campaign to help marketing students better understand the media industry in the UAE, and explain the practical uses of theories studied at university. The campaign, which will extend to universities across the UAE, will highlight and explore the opportunities of integrated communications in the Middle East. Entourage launched the campaign following a concern over the large gap between the expectations of students, the curriculums they study and what the Middle East industry really requires.

“It is extremely important that we help these students understand what the market expects of them, and to involve them in the industry even before they graduate,” says Mohammed Tayem, Managing Director, Entourage Marketing & Event. “The aim of this campaign is to provide a better understanding of the market, which helps students, but also helps us in the industry when students understand not only their role as marketeers, but how the different marketing tools work together.”

Hania Nashef, Assistant Professor at the American University of Sharjah adds, “I have indeed noticed that many of our students aren’t completely aware of what the market needs. For example, many of them underestimate the need for bilinguals and strong Arabic copywriters, although we reinforce it as professors. To have a professional working in the industry bring the picture into focus will be beneficial to our students, and it will create a solid foundation for fresh graduates.”

VIVA Beauty Awards 2014 winners announced

The winners of the 7th annual VIVA Beauty Awards have been announced following the ceremony which was held on Thursday May 22 at the JW Marriot Marquis Dubai. Hosted by TV presenter and entrepreneur Zahirah Variawa, this year saw 23 VIVA Beauty Awards categories presented across prestige and mass market products.

In the prestige market, the night’s highest accolades went to Chanel, a winner in two categories: Best Foundation – Chanel Perfection Lumiére Velvet Smooth-Effect Make-up, and Best Perfume – Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum. Other winners in the Prestige market included: Best Mascara – Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara; Best Nail Varnish – Essie Nail Colour; Best Anti-Ageing Product – Clarins Double Serum; Best Hair Product – L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Masque; Best Face Moisturiser – Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF30; Best Lipstick – Christian Dior Rouge Dior, and Best Body Product – Kiehl’s Créme de Corps.

In the mass market, the awards were split into the following categories: Best Perfume – L’Occitane Magnolia & Mure; Best Mascara – Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara; Best Nail Varnish – OPI Nail Lacquer; Best Anti-Ageing Product – Pond’s Age Miracle BB + Cream; Best Hair Product – TRESemmé Salon Silk Conditioner; Best Face Moisturiser – Olay Total Effects Day Cream; Best Lipstick – Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick; Best Body Product – The Body Shop Shea Body Butter; Best Hair Salon – JetSet, and Best Nail Salon – N.bar.

For the Editor’s Choice Awards, Chanel took home yet another win with Chanel Allure Eau De Toilette named as the Editor’s Choice Cult Classic. In addition to this, the Editor’s Choice for Most Innovative Product went to Philips ActiveCare Jojoba Straightener, and the Editor’s Seal of Approval was awarded to Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation.