Initiative MENA appoints new Regional Business Director 

Global media agency, Initiative MENA has appointed Ghayath Sioufi to the role of Regional Business Director. With over 18 years of experience working across various MENA markets, Ghayath worked with companies such as Starcom, du, Nawras and Mindshare. In his new role, Ghayath will serve key accounts and be responsible for driving the agency’s regional programmes across the MENA region.

“I am excited to have joined Initiative MENA in these interesting times of transformational changes in our industry,” says Ghayath. “I am sure that together with the team we will be able to lead this change in the market and confirm our role as key business and growth partner to our clients.”

PHD MENA expands into  Egypt

Dubai-based media and communications agency, PHD MENA has launched its Cairo office as part of its expansion plan across the Middle East. Egypt being its fifth location in the Middle East, the new office aims to offer strategic, digital and creative expertise and build on business partnerships with regional and international clients. The launch will see the appointment of Nour Eldin Saleh to handle operations in the Cairo office as General Manager bringing with him experience working with companies such as Starcom and Mindshare.

“PHD’s expansion into Egypt, our largest market in the Middle East to date, is a clear indication of how the region is transforming,” says Elda Choucair, CEO, PHD MENA. “While it has a rich heritage and thriving traditions, the country is rapidly progressing in terms of digital sophistication, both from a consumer and corporate standpoint. The time is right for PHD to capitalise on this shift and introduce ground-breaking approaches in media and communications. I am certain that, with Nour Eldin Saleh at the helm, we will provide new levels of media and business excellence to our clients.”


Mindshare appoints new Deputy Managing Director

Global media agency network, Mindshare UAE has promoted Zahi Lawand to the role of Deputy Managing Director. Previously Senior Director of Client Leadership for Mindshare since 2007, Zahi specialises in client leadership and has contributed to campaigns for the agency that have won across key industry events such as the MENA Cristal Awards, the Effie Awards and the Lynx Awards. In his new role as Deputy Managing Director, he will be responsible for helping both regional and international clients make collaborative and adaptive decisions using his previous experience in the agency.

“It’s definitely an interesting time to be a part of media and communications, as the tides keep shifting in this industry and you always need to rethink and adapt to the new norm,” says Zahi. “Personally, I am looking forward to the new role, as it’s an opportunity for me to play a central role within the Mindshare team and to deliver excellence in all that we do.”

Ravi Rao, CEO, Mindshare MENA, adds “Zahi has shown great client relationship skills backed by his deep desire to understand client`s business challenges and provide winning strategy and ideas. He is digitally savvy and sound in marketing and a full-fledged team player that makes him perfect to take this new mantle in Mindshare Dubai.”

Mindshare wins at ME Event Awards

Mindshare MENA was awarded Best Conference at the Middle East Event Awards, for this year’s annual media summit, titled ‘Content Decoded’. The WPP agency is a global media agency network helping clients to make collaborative and adaptive decisions across its paid, owned and earned marketing in real-time. The Middle East Event Awards were held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai and recognised the region’s best events, across 22 categories including; Best Music Event, Best Use of Event Technology, Best Festival and Best Brand Activation.

“Our annual media conference was another smash success this year and we are proud that the Middle East Event Awards recognised the many original ideas that were integrated into ‘Content Decoded’ in order to surprise and engage attendees,” says Mouna Ajam, Regional PR Director, Mindshare MENA. “Our team looks forward to hosting many more conferences that address the most important industry issues we face today, using the agency’s signature out-of-the-box way of thinking.”

Phillip Westphal, Managing Director, Salt & Pepper Events, adds “We are honored to have been selected for Best Conference at the Middle East Event Awards. We always strive to leave an impact, so working with Mindshare’s innovative team was a great collaboration. We are extremely happy to be recognised with this award.”

Dubai Lynx names 2016 jury

 The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity has named the 56 international jurors set to judge entries from across the Middle East and North Africa region at the 10th Dubai Lynx. The panel includes; Daniel Andrade, Group Creative Director, EMEA, The Zoo, Google, EMEA; Russel Place, Managing Director, UM, UK and Nick Emery, Global CEO, Mindshare, Global and will convene to appraise over 2,000 entries and determine winners of the coveted Lynx trophies, which will be presented at an awards ceremony on March 9, 2016.

More information and the full list of jurors can be found at

Mindshare to hold Content Decoded Conference

Mindshare, part of global media agency network WPP, is set to hold a media conference under the theme of Content Decoded on January 19, 2016. The conference will be held in The Annex, Burj Khalifa Dubai, and will offer a lineup of experts from a range of different industries, who will teach participants how to utilise data for more creative content, as well as how to deliver content at a scale, amongst other topics.

“At our core, Mindshare’s first priority is to maximise the return on investment for our business partners,” says Samir Ayoub, CEO, Mindshare MENA. “The way content is initiated, developed and used has changed over time. This event will help professionals from any industry use the tools and insights that our panel has created from years of experience. Using their techniques, our attendees will be wowed by measurable impact of adaptive, data-powered content developed for their business.”

Dentsu Aegis welcomes Simon Woodward

Simon Woodward has joined Dentsu Aegis Network as Head of Amplifi Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Having previous agency experience with Universal McCann, GroupM and Mindshare across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Simon was most recently Global Head of Agencies & Media Management at Microsoft Mobile Devices. In his new role, Simon will be based in Dubai reporting to Michael Nederlof and working with the teams of Abdalla Bibi, Head of Trading UAE and Siddhi Dhavale, Director of Amnet and Digital Buying.

“I am delighted to take this new role to lead such an integrated platform in MENA,” says Simon. “With the growing trends of convergence and globalisation, an agency’s media functionality needs to evolve beyond media efficiencies and rates. I believe Amplifi, which is structured to work collaboratively with our media, digital and technology partners, will bring out the best media performance and business outcomes through a cooperative approach.”

For further information, contact Sara Paye at / +971 (0)4 447 4996

GroupM welcomes Filip Jabbour

Global media investment management operation GroupM, part of WPP, has welcomed Filip Jabbour to the role of Middle East North Africa (MENA) CEO. Having most recently worked with Spark in the US as Executive Vice President, Filip brings 19 years of international experience in media advertising with him to his new role.

GroupM has just officially opened its offices in the UAE, with the primary goal of maximising the performance of WPP’s communications agencies, operating as both a parent company and collaborator to offer an intelligent application of insights to its clients. As MENA CEO to the company, Fillip will be responsible for leading all operations and driving growth in the region, as well as developing strategy and accelerating the growth of the groups regional media agencies: Mindshare, MED, MediaCom, and BPG Maxus.

“The opportunity to join the world’s leading media investment management group to lead development in the exciting and fast-growing MENA market is thrilling,” says Filip. “GroupM agencies operating in MENA are distinguished by their winning track records, and I am keen to accelerate their pace by harnessing the absolute best digital, technology, data and content solutions available.”

Boye Balogun heads up Future Tech Media

Boye Balogun, former Region Head of Digital at Mindshare, has left the company to head newly established Future Tech Media as Co–Founder and Managing Director. Having been with Mindshare since 2012, Boye will now oversee Future Tech Media, a Middle East & Africa digital media solutions and consultancy business, which focuses on innovative digital solutions.

“We have a perfectly curated suite of innovative digital products across native advertising, mobile and video to help drive the next wave of digital advertising in this market,” says Boye.

With its first office currently open in Dubai, another is set to be established in Lagos to cater for the African region later in the year.