MENA Digital Awards 2018 dates announced

The fifth edition of the MENA Digital Awards (MDA) is set to take place on May 9, 2018 at the Westin Mina Seyahi. The event aims to honour and celebrate people as well as brands that are shaping the future of the communications industry through digital innovation and media from across the MENA region. The MDA has also opened entries for submission with the deadline on March 4, 2018 to be judged by a jury of digital experts from across the world.

“Year on year, the MDA sets a gold standard for digital and media excellence in the MENA region, acting as a catalyst for innovation, creativity and transformation in one of the world’s fastest-growing and changing industries,” says Najla Semaan Mazboudi, Founder, MDA and CEO, SpotOn Media Services and Events. “The MDA was launched to recognise and celebrate those responsible for creating digital marketing campaigns that have a real impact and drive our sector onto new heights, proactively endorsing digital as a worthy marketing channel.”

Cicero & Bernay expands operations in the GCC

Public relations consultancy, Cicero & Bernay (C&B) has signed a new affiliation with Bahrain-based public relations agency, Daily Public Relations (Daily PR) and Oman-based boutique marketing and communications agency, ProComms as part of its expansion plan into the GCC. The new strategic partnership will see both regional agencies enhance C&B’s presence and grow its client portfolio across the GCC by providing PR services and strategies, as well as on-ground support and development of targeted communication to cater to the growing markets in Bahrain and Oman.

“Daily PR and ProComms both share C&B’s ethos – delivering tailored and impactful communication services for clients – and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver even more comprehensive and targeted programmes,” says Ahmad Itani, COO, Cicero & Bernay. “By sharing complementary insights, we will enrich C&B’s already highly effective delivery across both of its markets and the wider MENA region.”

MENA Digital Awards 2017 winners announced

Winners of the fourth edition of the MENA Digital Awards (MDA) 2017 were announced last night following the end of the sixth Digital Media Forum (DMF). Held at the Westin Hotel, the MDA ceremony was themed ‘Digital transformation – own it’ with an aim to recognise the most outstanding digital talents, efforts and innovations across the region. The ceremony saw IMPACT BBDO Dubai win the Agency of the Year and BBDO Worldwide named Network of the Year, while other wins also included Starcom Dubai for Best Integrated Digital Campaign, RBBi for Best Performance Campaign and Socialize for Best Facebook App and Best Digital by Sector.

“MDA was launched to recognise and celebrate those responsible for creating digital marketing campaigns that have a real impact and have driven our sector to new heights,” says Najla Semaan Mazboudi, CEO, SpotOn Media Services and Events and Founder, DMF and MDA. “MDA’s programme evolves every year to reflect its growing scope and influence and it is now rightly considered as the benchmark ceremony for the top digital marketing talent in the region.”

C&B expands MENA network

Cicero & Bernay (C&B), part of The Publicity Network (Publinet) has signed an affiliation with Kuwait-based marketing and public relations agency, Local Flavor. Aiming to further expand its network within the MENA region, the partnership will offer the agency’s clients public and media relations services, business development capabilities and communication development tools as well as PR strategies.

“The signing of this affiliation agreement amplifies our strong capabilities throughout the MENA region in delivering comprehensive public relations and communications services,” says Ahmad Itani, COO, Cicero & Bernay. “Local Flavor and C&B each have a strong service ethos that delivers tailored client servicing and communication planning for our clientele. Our complementary insights will enrich already effective communication delivery across both of our markets and to the wider region.”

Khaled Salah Al-Sayer, Managing Partner, Local Flavor adds, “We are very pleased with this new affiliation, as it combines the strong market knowledge of both companies and the breadth of complementary services and expertise. For our clients, this affiliation will deliver increased opportunity for exposure and strengthened brand infrastructure that can be optimised across the region.”

Cicero & Bernay expands into Turkey

Public relations consultancy, Cicero & Bernay has signed a new affiliation with Turkey-based PR and social media agency, Miya PR & SM, to expand its operations to Turkey. The affiliation will see both parties combine their strength and capabilities to shape and deliver creative communication strategies, as well as collaborate on client projects and new business efforts across the region.

“This partnership empowers both of our agencies to provide high-quality communication campaigns in a key market at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and we are delighted to offer our clients enhanced PR capability that an affiliation with C&B brings,” says Burcu Meriç Durak, Founder, Miya PR & SM. “I believe that our understanding and insights perfectly complement each other and that through our combined efforts we will deliver the best-in-class communication campaigns for our clients.”

C&B partner with Y&D Communications

Cicero & Bernay Public Relations (C&B) has partnered with Saudi-based public relations and social media agency Y&D Communications, as part of a GCC expansion plan. The collaboration will see C&B enhance its suite of capabilities in order to develop in the communications industry across the MENA region. Both agencies will combine their capabilities and expertise in strategic planning, public relations and technical proficiency, as well as benefit from mutual insights and tactical abilities.

“This partnership agreement is part of our long-term strategy of building a communications network spanning across the region,” says Ahmad Itani, COO, Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. “Public relations is becoming an increasingly important and valuable asset for organisations across all four corners of our region. We are pleased to be part of the current wave of growth and we are confident that our affliation with Y&D will provide even more expertise and geographical reach for our clients.”

Younus Inayat, COO, Y&D Coommunications, adds “We are confident that our alliance with C&B will prove to be a highly valuable and complementary collaboration for both companies. Our agency has a long-established reputation and significant presence within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s modern communications landscape and this new cooperation with C&B will ensure we are extremely well placed to take advantage of the sterling growth that the public relations industry is seeing across the region.”

Publinet Group makes new senior appointments

Communications network Publinet Group, which includes Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, RAW social media agency and creative think-tank Spark* Middle East, has expanded its senior leadership team with three new appointments. Cicero & Bernay has welcomed Grace Asmar to the role of Director of Practices and Offerings where she will act as the agency’s custodian of all brands and personnel. She will be responsible for the development and management of clients, working closely with Cicero & Bernay directors in an effort to drive the vision and strategy for the agency. Jamal H. Iqbal has also been appointed to the role of Director of Brand Outreach, where he will add a brand-focused and creative perspective to client’s strategies. As well as these senior appointments at Cicero & Bernay, RAW will welcome Rennie Mitchell to the role of its first-ever Creative Director, where he will work across digital and social media strategy and management for the agency.

“The expansion of the Publinet senior team is significant in that it underscores the confidence we have in the region’s opportunities and the need for senior expertise,” says Ahmad Itani, COO, Publinet Group. “Publinet companies are focused on delivering best-practice solutions for our clients and the addition of these three individuals to our senior teams will offer in-depth expertise to clients and enable us to deliver integrated and strategic solutions from all of the Publinet companies.”