New PR auditing services at CTT Consulting

UAE- based PR & communications agency, CTT Consulting PR & Media Communications has partnered with Circle Hospitality Consulting. This new business alignment will mean that CTT Consulting will now be offering PR auditing services across a wide range of business categories. This new service will assist companies who wish to reassess the effectiveness of their internal PR departments, are looking for a fresh approach to PR or for companies who are interested in establishing a PR department.

“We are delighted to be working alongside the experienced Circle Hospitality Consulting team to promote new short-term consultancy services to hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the UAE,” says Caroline Tapken, Managing Director, CTT Consulting. “Specialising in hospitality from concept, pre-opening and operation to sales, marketing and efficient revenue generation, our combined expertise extends to restaurant launches, sporting events, exhibitions, FMCGs and technical/telecommunications.  Public relations is relevant across all business, particularly in a challenging business environment, and a fresh perspective from a different industry can be extremely productive.”

dmg appoints new President for region

dmg events has appointed Matt Denton as President for dmg events – Middle East, Asia and Africa. Matt joined dmg world media in 1998 as Head of Marketing for the UK consumer shows and he managed the Daily Mail Ideal Home and Ski and Snowboard Shows. Matt entered the MENA market in 2010 as Vice President for dmg events in Middle East and Asia handling The Big 5, a large regional construction event which grew from a single show to multiple shows across the GCC and India under his management.

In his most recent position, Matt moved to dmg’s US operation as President, overseeing the global digital marketing portfolio with offices in the US, Japan, UK, Australia, New Zealand and India.

“I am really excited to be returning to the UAE and getting reacquainted with the products and teams I know so well,” says Matt. “Although many things remain very familiar, much has changed in the time that I was away from the Middle East. There are many new faces and new initiatives and dmg events has grown exponentially across the region. I look forward to working closely with the teams, stakeholders and partners to continue this growth in the years to come.”

Geoff Dickinson, CEO, dmg events, adds “I have had the pleasure of knowing Matt for a very long time and he has always illustrated strong entrepreneurial skills in both developing and launching events. I was delighted to be instrumental in persuading him to rejoin dmg events in 2010 and I am pleased that he will now take the helm of our Middle East, Asia and Africa portfolio.”

Ravi Rao is promoted to CEO of Mindshare MENA

Samir Ayoub has resigned as CEO, Mindshare MENA and has been appointed Delegate of the Board at Mindshare MENA. Current Chief Client Officer, Ravi Rao has been promoted to replace Samir as CEO. Samir will transition from his current role as CEO, on February 1, 2016 and continue to act as a valued advisor and consultant on all agency matters until July 2016.

Samir has led Mindshare MENA since 1999, and previously headed up Ogilvy Media.  In the last 26 years with WPP, Samir has built up world-class media offerings in the region with his in-depth knowledge of the multiple markets and its consumers’ lifestyles, habits and choices, has supported local and international brands in developing their market share across regional geographies.

Ravi Rao joined Mindshare MENA in May 2015 as Chief Client Officer and in October took responsibility for leading the UAE team.  In his previous role, Ravi led Mindshare South Asia as CEO for 3 years and has over nine years’ experience with WPP companies.

“My time with Mindshare has been rewarding and exhilarating,” says Samir. “Much has changed in the consumer and media landscape since I took on the CEO role 17 years ago.  I am delighted that the company will continue to flourish, guided by the experienced and capable hands of my friend and colleague Ravi Rao.  In the coming months and years ahead, I look forward to celebrating its continued achievements.”

Ravi Rao adds,“It is most satisfying that I was one of ‘the Day 1 employees’ when Mindshare was set up in the region way back in 1999.  A real privilege now to lead Mindshare MENA and I really look forward to further building on the success of our strong team and a world-class product so our client partners benefit the most by driving the Adaptive Marketing vision.”

Effie MENA Awards winners announced

The seventh edition of the annual Effie MENA Awards hosted a total of 25 categories for entrants this year. There were 12 categories under ‘Product and Service,’ eight under ‘Specialty’ and a single category ‘Shopper Marketing.’ There was also a chance to win a ‘Grand Prix’ award and to have the titles ‘The Most Effective Marketing Team of the Year,’ ‘Most Effective MENA Agency Network of the Year’ and ‘Most Effective MENA Advertising Agency Office of the Year’, ‘Most Effective MENA Media Agency Office of the Year’ bestowed. To win an Effie Award, entrants need to impress the judges in four main criteria; ‘Strategic Challenge and Objectives,’ ‘Idea,’ ‘Bringing the Idea to Life’ and ‘Results.’

This year’s Grand Prix winner was Impact BBDO Cairo and OMD – Media Direction for the Sting Launch Campaign. Advertising agency FP7 received a double win and was awarded most effective agency office of the year and most effective agency network of the year. OMD Dubai won the title of most effective media office of the year.

“The high standard of entries combined with the rigorous and stringent evaluation procedures mean that it was a very tough competition indeed this year,” says Alexandre Hawari, Co-COE of Mediaquest Corp. “As organisers of the annual Effie MENA Awards, we are both honoured and delighted to have such a range of distinguished figures participating as judges in this year’s programme.”

Those who excelled as being the most influential entities in the region’s marketing sector for the past 12 months and who celebrated with a gold Effie MENA Award this year were:

–       Smartlife – FP7/DXB

–       Dominos – JWT KSA

–       Sony Mobile Communications – FP7/DXB

–       Chrysler ME – Publicis ME

–       Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) – Geometry Global

–       Emirates NBD – FP7/DXB

–       touch – JWT Beirut

–       Coca-Cola ME – FP7 DXB and Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai

–       Rani Float – Mindshare MENA

–       Quaker – DDB

–       Infiniti ME – TBWA/RAAD & Mindshare MENA

–       Sting – Impact BBDO Cairo & OMD- Media Direction

–       UN Women – Impact BBDO Dubai

–       Coca-Cola ME – FP7/DXB & Memac Ogilvy & Mather

–       Smartlife – Capital Group & FP7/DXB

–       Chipsy – Impact BBDO Cairo & OMD – Media Direction- Abla Fahita – JWT Entertainment & JWT

–       Fanta – FP7/DXB

–       Fanta – FP7/DXB & Power League Gaming

–       7UP – Impact BBDO Dubai & OMD


AFP–Services expands into MENA

AFP-Services, the custom content services wing of global news agency Agence France-Presse, will expand into the Gulf and Middle East regions, taking its editorial, digital and audio-vision on-demand offer to a broader range of clients. With a network of video journalists, broadcast technical crew, photographers, graphic designers and journalists worldwide, AFP-Services offers clients a means to produce cross-vertical content for digital, broadcast, print and social circulation.

“AFP-Services take the editorial acumen of the news industry, combine it with savvy audiovisual know-how and recast the ensemble to focus wholly on our customers’ needs,” says Olivier Lombardie, Managing Director, AFP-Services. “Now more than ever, companies and institutions know quality content is the key to communicating with audiences today.”

Rana Hariz, Sales and Business Development Manager, Middle East, AFP-Services, adds “AFP-Services does not compete with PR and advertising agencies. With its services that include photography, videography, content strategy and editing, AFP-Services is a natural partner for existing corporate communications outlets.”


Ahmed Garoon joins Hype as Senior Sales Executive

Ahmed Garoon has joined music and nightlife magazine Hype as Senior Sales Executive. Working alongside Lee Tunnicliffe, Ahmed will be responsible for generating new business across clubs, music, fashion and lifestyle clients, and also seeking sponsorship for Hype events.

“Hype is a the only magazine in Dubai that captures the city’s exciting sub-culture, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m looking forward to connecting new brands with the magazine,” says Ahmed. “I’ve been a fan of the magazine since its inception and joining the team brings me nothing but joy. The Hype team is extremely passionate about what they do and it’s great to be working with like-minded individuals who live and breathe their work as a lifestyle.”

Femina Middle East welcomes Shweta Bhatia

Shweta Batia has joined Femina Middle East magazine as Fashion & Beauty Editor. A graduate from the London School of Journalism, Shweta has previously worked as a freelance journalist for various global fashion publications. In her new role, she will be supporting the Editorial team in producing the monthly title by covering the latest in fashion and beauty trends.
“I’m delighted to be coming on board as the face of Femina ME’s fashion and beauty pages,” says Shweta. “The magazine has great potential and we look forward to achieving great heights with the product.”

Gulf Life gets a makeover

Gulf Life, the inflight magazine for Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, has received a new look. The redesign is the culmination of a comprehensive review of the magazine’s content, style and tone to better service its audience – whether 35,000 feet in the air, or in an airport lounge.

In addition to an updated logo and cover, the August 2015 issue of Gulf Life is also the first issue to be available as a digital edition via the issuu platform, which readers globally can download free of charge on any mobile device, tablet or desktop.

“We wanted something that reflected the expanding network of Gulf Air and its well-travelled passengers,” says Mairead Walsh, Editor, Gulf Life. “The new look is energetic and aspirational. We expect our new online presence will only increase our readership and awareness of the Gulf Air network.”

Edward Marr, Head of New Product Development and Business Development, GN Publishing, adds “We are immensely proud of the great standards Mairead and her team achieve each month for Gulf Life. As with all our products, nothing delights our teams more than producing engaging content that excites our readers, whilst clearly communicating our clients’ message.”