Momentum/CAI appoints new Managing Director

Momentum, part of Middle East Communications Network (MCN) has promoted Lina Fateen to the role of Managing Director of its Cairo office, Momentum/CAI. Lina joined MCN in 2002 as a part of FP7/CAI and most recently held the role of Deputy Managing Director at Momentum, where she worked on relaunching the agency as a full independent brand experience agency. In her new role, she will report to MCN Egypt’s CEO, Sahar El Zoghby and lead her team to produce award winning work to drive clients’ business award-winning building a brand reputation and setting standards of excellence for future openings of Momentum across the MCN network.

“My career at MCN has been a fantastic journey of valuable insights and experiences enabling me to build and foster a successful organisation with the right people here at Momentum/CAI,” says Lina. “And now with the continued opportunity to lead this company, I am excited to unravel the next steps in developing strong synergies with our clients for further award winning success.”

New Managing Director at UM and FP7 Kuwait

UM MENA and FP7, the flagship agencies of MCN, has promoted Simon Bowthorpe to the role of Managing Director of UM Kuwait and FP7/KWI. With over 25 years of experience working with creative, digital and events agencies, Simon joined UM Qatar as General Manager and currently holds the position as the agency’s Managing Director. In his new role, he will continue to oversee UM’s media operations in Qatar as well as take on the new responsibility for both creative and media businesses in Kuwait. He will focus on driving the digital transformation of FP7 and UM’s operations in Kuwait by improving the integration strategy and social media into the agency’s overall product offering.

“My time in Qatar has given me extensive experience in developing UM’s product offering, as well as improving our creative potential,” says Simon. “I’m confident that both our current clients and future prospects will be impressed as we further expand the capabilities of our office in the Kuwaiti market.”

PHD expands regional network

Dubai-based media and communications agency, PHD has launched its operations in Lebanon as a part of its regional expansion plan. With an office in Beirut, PHD will bring its expertise and working methods to manage the interest of its clients across Lebanon and the Levant region. The new launch will also see the appointment of Maroun Hassoun to the role of General Manager, PHD Lebanon to oversee the team and report to Elda Choucair, CEO of PHD MENA.

“Having spent my entire career in the marketing industry, I can say that I have watched the rise of PHD with awe,” says Maroun. “I feel an equal sense of responsibility in maintaining and developing this mindset and excitement about the opportunity to tangibly make a difference in a market I know so well.”

Lowe MENA helps Unilever attain World Record

MCN agency Lowe MENA has helped its client Unilever obtain an official Guinness World Record for its Ramadan campaign – with the largest collection of clothes for donation, consisting of 146,411 items for the Comfort and OMO brands.

The Lowe-Unilever team worked on the project from concept to completion, and were on stage during the event to recognise the achievement. Key team members included Sujay Nanavati, Anoop George and Sarah Nassar.

MCN launches Transformers Program

Middle East Communications Network (MCN) has today launched its Transformers Leadership Development Program. The unique program – a first in the region for the media and advertising industry – is part of MCN’s aim to develop best-in-breed talent for its future leadership across its multi-agency, multi-location footprint in the MENA region.

The roll out follows a selection phase undertaken earlier this year, to identify MCN talent who have shown consistently high performance and future leadership potential. The 50 key performers selected and nominated to undertake the study program are drawn from 11 MCN agencies and will undergo a 10-month academically focused curriculum that provides a formal training structure built around the key pillar of creativity and strategic leadership.

“I am delighted to announce the launch of the Transformers program at MCN,” says Ghassan Harfouche, CEO, MCN. “It is a unique academic collaboration in the region and it is a testament to our belief in the future of our young talent. We are constantly striving to improve our human capital base and this investment in our most promising young leaders will now ensure that our clients are in the best of hands today and tomorrow. This program facilitates and enhances creativity and innovative thinking. In partnership with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, we are laying the foundations for our next generation of success and I wish everyone on the program the best of luck.”

MRM Dubai commissioned by Chanel for CRM

MRM Dubai, part of Middle East Communications Network (MCN), has launched a bespoke Customer Relationship Centre to support Chanel’s network of stores in the region. The custom-made CRM solution was commissioned by Chanel to close the information gap in the luxury retailer’s understanding of its customers in the Gulf.

“CRM, data-driven analytics, insights and reporting are core strengths of MRM, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to develop an A to Z, unique proposition for Chanel,” says James Gaubert, General Manager, MRM Dubai.”The Customer Relationship Centre will provide real world data and insight that will optimise the luxury brand’s business operations across the region. We look forward to partnering with Chanel in the future.”

Rajeev Budhiraja, CEO of MRM Dubai adds, “Producing such innovative answers to our clients’ commercial questions is what MRM is built on. We are constantly seeking to evolve our offering, and in line with our positioning as a global customer experience agency, services like this ensure we are assisting our clients to better engage with their wider audience.”

New Regional Managing Director for UM MENA

Middle East Communication Network (MCN), has announced Chris Skinner as the new Regional Managing Director of UM MENA. A British national with more than 18 years’ industry experience, Skinner has worked in senior level positions at global agencies in some of the world’s most important media markets, including London and Hong Kong. He joins UM MENA after a six-year tenure at IPG’s Mediabrands in Hong Kong, where he led UM and Initiative as Managing Director and led integrated campaigns for The Coca-Cola Group, Boots International, Cathay Pacific, Exxon Mobil, MasterCard, CNN International and Microsoft, among others.

“Chris has an impressive track record of success and his key strengths of developing strategic campaigns, building diversity and additional services – including digital assets – as well as pushing the boundaries of service, content and integration will prove great assets to MCN,” says Ghassan Harfouche, Group CEO of MCN. “The high-level appointment is further proof that the keystone to MCN evolving its product offering is acquiring the best human capital available.”

Paul Katrib, who has been leading UM MENA for the past three years will be moving on to pursue other professional projects. “MCN would like to thank Paul for all his efforts and achievements during his longstanding tenure at the company and offer him their very best wishes for his future,” added Harfouche.

MCN launch specialist data and analytics unit

Middle East Communication Network (MCN), has announced the launch of Capella, a new specialised entity that will employ advanced media tools to guide strategy and improve the productivity of marketing and media spend for MCN’s client portfolio through consumer insights, research and performance analytics.

Capella was conceived to leverage the ever-increasing volumes of Big Data being generated by brands and consumers. The MENA market is a dynamic, competitive environment, making insights obtained through data analysis a crucial advantage for any advertiser. The optimisation of media spend is key in the region, and Capella will identify trends and insights that will maximise the efficiency of media transactions.

Headquartered at MCN’s Hive building in Dubai, Capella will be led by George Papandreopoulos, who transferred to the region from the New York office of Interpublic Group, MCN’s parent network. While there, he held a senior role in forecasting and intelligence at Magna Global, the strategic global media unit of IPG Mediabrands.