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.”

Memac Ogilvy opens new Cairo Office

Memac Ogilvy has embarked on a major reshuffle of its Egypt operations, starting with the launch of a new Cairo office in Technology City. The new office marks the first stage of a renewed commitment to modernising its services in Egypt and the company aims to bring its new operating system and restructure to its Cairo team.

“Egypt has long been an important market for us, and we’re proud of the influential history we have here, from the launch of the New Suez Canal, to the Egypt Post, to Cairo’s Ministry of Finance,” says Edmond Moutran, Chief Executive Officer, Memac Ogilvy. “Today, the nation is going through significant growth measures, which is vastly important from a social, economic, and cultural perspective. This is an era we are committed to playing a key role in. Our 20-year history in the country allowed us to recognise the opportunities that exist, and we intend on contributing through our talented resources, services, and operations.”

Ogilvy to launch Marketing Technology Center of Excellence

Ogilvy will deliver its Marketing Center of Excellence through its Memac Ogilvy offices across the MENA region. The new offering aims to bring out the company’s range of MarTech solutions while providing offices and clients with a skilled and highly competitive hub model.

“We’ve steadily grown our capabilities in the area of deep digital in recent years, in line with Next Chapter,” says Patou Nuytemans, CEO, Memac Ogilvy, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy EMEA. “In order for clients to become truly digital, they require partners with not only strategic and creative digital skills, but also deep expertise in technology. That’s what the Center of Excellence is all about. We are thrilled to be able to offer it here in the MENA region, where clients are increasingly showing great desire to innovate and transform digitally.”

Geometry Dubai welcomes new Executive Creative Director

Brand experience agency, Geometry has promoted Julian Hernandez to the role of Executive Creative Director of its Dubai office. Having joined Geometry in 2015, Julian worked as Executive Creative Director of the agency’s Hong Kong office, where he mentored the creative team and led the creative output across its list brands including Coca-Cola, Huawei and Pernod Ricard. In his new role, he will focus on creativity with an emphasis on genuine local insight to shape the agency’s new approach to shopper marketing.

“I’d like to see more culturally relevant work coming out of our office and the use of non-traditional channels to influence consumers in unconventional ways,” says Hernández. “The old ‘surprise and delight’ approach has never been more valid – even in our complex region – so that’s what we’re aiming for across a wider scope of touchpoints. To do so, we need to surprise consumers with brand experiences that enrich their lives, rather than interrupt them.”

Cannes Lions 2017 Jury revealed

Motivate Val Morgan, the official representatives of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has named this year’s jurors from the UAE set to judge entries from across the region. The members of jury will include Josephine Younes, Creative Director of McCann FP7/DXB, Elda Choucair, CEO of PHD MENA, Sascha Kuntza, Creative Director of Memac Ogilvy and Firas Medrows, Executive Creative Director of DDB Dubai. The upcoming festival will see a panel of jurors categorised under radio, promo and activation, direct and media in the UAE to shortlist and announce the winners at the event ceremony from June 17 – 24, 2017.

In The Hot Seat – Joe Lipscombe

Joe Lipscombe, Content Director at Memac Ogilvy tells TMN about his current role and what he thinks about the media industry in the Middle East…

Name: Joe Lipscombe

Age: Too close to 30

From: England

Current job title: Content Director

When did you first arrive in Dubai?


Where did you work prior?

I was predominantly a freelancer from 2010 to 2012, working across a myriad of publications and websites. My favourite, oddly enough, was Cosmos (The Science of Everything, not the gossip mag), which was based in Australia. I was a cosmology correspondent writing about all things planets, stardust and interstellar explosions – you know, standard stuff!

What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?

I’m not sure it’s fair to summarise the Middle East media industry in one broad statement – that would be like asking, What are Americans like?” There are far too many nuances and unique differences between each market here, which is part of the reason it’s so exciting to work in a regional organisation. My first impressions of the UAE’s media industry, at least, were similar to what they are today. Like any market, there remains a very broad spectrum of talent, but given the size of the market, it’s perhaps a little more obvious here than in some other places. I think its biggest issue is the young and talented journalists of the GCC vastly outnumber the older, more experienced journalists, which means mentors and true experts are hard to come by. For every Frank Kane, Mustafa Alwari and Robert Chilton, who truly knows their way around a paper or magazine, you’ve got a swarm of really talented journalists without access to these types of people. That’s not to say we don’t have incredibly talented journalists, communicators, designers and editors in the GCC – we absolutely do, but it does mean we end up seeing them come and go in waves. Once they’ve learned all they can from this market, they try something new elsewhere.

In terms of the industry itself, the good is its resilience in the area of print. By the same token, the bad is it has struggled to really announce itself in the digital area.

Has your opinion changed much?

That’s probably my general opinion (I’m struggling to remember my real first impressions).

Tell us about your current role…

My role is super fun. My partner, mentor and good friend Sami Moutran, the Director of Memac Ogilvy (MO), came to me with a vision of building a content studio that lives inside MO PR. When the digital world sprang to life, and platforms that allowed everyone to become broadcasters became the norm, reaching people through public relations completely changed. The goal of PR has always remained the same, but the methods needed to achieve it have matured. With that in mind, we needed to evolve slightly and begin offering new services at a higher quality. So we began building the content team, which is my baby, essentially. We focused on hiring people with more specialised backgrounds in writing, creation and production. Then, we placed it into the workflow process alongside our client servicing team, Voilà!

What challenges do you face?

Nothing extraordinarily different to anyone else in the region. As an agency there are some common challenges, and then some not-so common challenges you can’t predict. The three day-to-day challenges I face are making the most of our resources, trying to provide the best value for our clients and maintaining the high standards set by Memac Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) across the region (and Ogilvy globally).

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I could be quite predictable here and say when you see the impact your work has on people’s lives. Some of the stuff MO has done in the last two years has been truly transformational for people all around the world, from globally recognised campaigns such as UN Women’s Autocomplete Truth, to locally important ones such as RTA’s Back-Off Radio. But for me, I’m an ideas man, and to this day the most rewarding part of my job is sparring with my colleagues on new creative ideas. I especially enjoy being part of the creative process with people from other disciplines outside of PR, too. We’re a fully integrated agency, so we work closely with our activations and experiential partner, Geometry Global, as well as the digital marketing and advertising teams from Ogilvy One and O&M. So, you’re always working with talented people from different backgrounds, and with different skills, which means you’re always learning. The final rewarding part is travelling around the region and meeting clients and colleagues from other countries. Mark Jackson, Regional Head of Technology at MO and I recently ran a regional workshop on storytelling, which gave me the opportunity to meet people in other offices, and see what they’re up to. It’s incredibly beneficial (especially for someone without a communications or marketing background).

How would you rather be contacted at work?

Carrier pigeon would be cool or a puppy with a note.

What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?

I’m a consumer first. So like any consumer, some things I love, some things I hate. I’m a huge fan of Edgar magazine, I think Robert Chilton, Editor-in-Chief of Edgar, has done an excellent job over there. Living in the labyrinth of glossy magazines in the UAE, you can really see the difference between the pretentious and the good. Edgar is an audience-first publication, which I like. Otherwise, though it’s biased to say, I still love picking up Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East purely because of its art. Steven Castelluccia, Art Director of Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East, is without a shadow of a doubt the best Art Director in the country today, which is why his covers appear everywhere from Cover Junkie to Adweek. He’s a genius!

What role has the rise of digital media played when it comes to content creation in the UAE’s media industry?

The digital space has influenced change in every aspect of content creation, from how you create it, where you put it, when you put it there and how you then analyse its performance. The biggest change the digital era has given us is that of consumer behaviour. We put it this way, the consumer used to be a dog. You could generally feed it what you wanted, when you wanted, and it would be very happy and loyal in return. Today, as consumers, we’re more like cats. Everyone thinks it can tame a cat, but in reality they don’t answer to anyone. Their loyalty can’t be easily bought, and they are as fussy as you can imagine. Therefore, we have to totally change the way we approach content creation. We have to use a number of methods to find out exactly what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Then we have to create something that’s as compelling as absolutely anything else available online. Because today, you’re not just competing with your industry rivals, you’re also competing with House of Cards, Game of Thrones, cats playing piano and anything else that lives in the same space as your content. That’s what digital has done, it’s created a level playing field for universal content wars. It’s actually awesome.

Have cultural differences in the UAE played a role in its media industry versus other regions?

Only in a good way. My Arabic Content Manager teaches me so much about the delicacies of the Arabic language, and my Regional Director, Saada Hammad, teaches me so much about building relationships in the Arab world. We have rising stars from Canada, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and pretty much anywhere else, so we are blessed with an ever-relevant point of view on the industry.

How has digital media changed the relationship between the PR and media industry?

Well, there’s a question that could open up a can of worms. Both professions are working their way around new ways of operating in the digital space, so the collaboration between the two is changing as a result. I think we’re getting there.

Describe yourself in five words…

I wouldn’t dare. Better to ask my boss.

What’s your most overused saying?

“Is it lunchtime?” probably. Tied with “I disagree”.

Five things you can’t live without?

Radiohead, a tennis racquet, cat videos, vino (can I say that?), trolling jargon-lovers on LinkedIn.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

With my instant likeability and good looks? An influencer, obviously.

What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print)?

Documentaries. My dream has always been to make documentaries. So much so, our cat is named after Louis Theroux, Louis Theroux Lipscombe The Cat, to be exact!

How do you see the media and PR industry changing in the UAE in the coming years?

If I knew that, I’d be a millionaire.

Shortlist revealed for PRCA Awards

PRCA MENA has announced the shortlisted nominees for its inaugural awards ceremony that will take place on February 8, 2017 at the H Hotel, Dubai. The nominees include: Q Communications, Seven Media, TOH PR, Memac Ogilvy, Markettiers and Grayling as well as Hill+Knowlton Strategies, among other agencies of the region.

The awards will honour agencies and media professionals across 13 categories – B2C Campaign, sponsored by HAVOC Creative; B2B Campaign; Crisis Communications, sponsored by LexisNexis; Digital Campaign, sponsored by Markettiers; Influencer Relations; Integrated Campaign, sponsored by TINT; Media Relations; Regional Campaign of the Year and Rising Star, both sponsored by MCG Associates; Results on a Budget; PR Leader, sponsored by ICCO and Small Consultancy of the Year, sponsored by The Media Network as well as Large Consultancy of the Year.

“I am delighted to announce the shortlist for the awards,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “The work submitted demonstrated excellent work across the region. Congratulations to all shortlisted.”

Shortlist for Young PR Lions MENA announced

PRCA MENA has released the shortlist for the Young PR Lions MENA competition to find the best young PR professionals in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight teams have been shortlisted to win the accolade this year and one of them will be heading to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to take part in the international competition on June 19, 2016. The shortlisted teams of two PR agency professionals aged 30 or under are from; Memac Ogilvy, MCS Action, Edelman, Grayling META, Golin MENA, H&K Strategies, Memac Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick.

On May 17, the shortlisted teams will be asked to deliver a five minute presentation explaining their PR campaign at Motivate, located in Media One, Dubai and the winning MENA team will be announced on May 19.


Meltwater Dubai opens agency department

Global media monitoring platform Meltwater has opened an agency department for the MENA region. Based in Dubai, the new department will deal directly with media agencies to provide local and customised support as well as technology solutions. Meltwater will provide a dedicated account manager to agencies to act as an extension of its team, in order to consult on ways to improve client accounts. The department will be headed up by Director of Agency Partnerships, Mohamed El Wardani, and current Meltwater clients include Leo Burnett, Memac Ogilvy and TBWA\RAAD.

Memac Ogilvy welcomes new Chief Creative Officer

Memac Ogilvy has appointed multi-award winning creative talent Paul Shearer as the group’s new Chief Creative Officer (CCO). Shearer brings 25 years of experience in advertising to his new role and will be based in Memac Ogilvy’s Dubai office.

“Paul’s record speaks for itself and we are confident that he will drive our group forward to even higher creative levels,” says Edmond Moutran, Chairman and CEO, Memac Ogilvy. “Paul prides himself on understanding client’s business and the global alignment that is required for creative success. He always surprises his clients and teams with his ideas and has won some of the most prestigious global awards in our industry. However, when it comes to success Paul will always tell you that our philosophy is to move our client’s brands off the shelf which is more satisfying than any award, and that really resonates with us as a network.”

Paul’s work for brands such as Guess Jeans, Nike and Audi has won him global admiration and accolades, including 18 Cannes Lions, 10 D&AD pencils, 19 Clio statues and his work has received the ‘Best of Show’ award at the One Club. Part of his experience also includes being a Creative Head at Wieden+Kennedy, Senior Creative at BBH and Founding Partner of Nitro.

Paul adds, “Being able to spearhead creative operations as CCO at Memac Ogilvy is a responsibility that I am thrilled to be carrying forward. The network has an incredibly rich history within the advertising industry, and the talent that I’ll be collaborating with in my view is second to none.”