Future Tech Media acquires Adzouk

Dubai-based digital advertising agency, Future Tech Media has acquired the digital advertising network, Adzouk. Founded in 2011, the programmatic supply side network works with advertisers including General Motors, Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover across the MENA region. The acquisition aims to increase client needs particularly in Africa and Asia while strengthening Future Tech Media’s strategic positioning in the region.

“In today’s rapidly evolving and connected world, our clients are demanding more and more digitally cutting-edge solutions,” says Boye Balogun, Managing Director, Future Tech Media. “This acquisition enables us to grow faster and offer clients a comprehensive solution encompassing content, media and technology. There is a perfect synergy between our existing product offerings and we’vealready started integrating Adzouk’s products across our five offices. We will also continue to work on new product development as we advance our advertising technology roadmap.”

Jamie Atherton, Co-founder and MD, Adzouk, continues, “This is a very positive step for the business as we are now part of a larger integrated digital technology business. We will be able to offer our clients Future Tech Media’s products including access to their content studio and influencer marketing technology. We are very proud of Adzouk’s achievements over the last seven years and are confident that we are in a hyper-growth phase with the right talents and leadership on-board.”

RAPP ME welcomes new Managing Director 

RAPP ME has appointed Mimi Nicklin to the role of Managing Director. With a wealth of experience in strategic and creative communications, Mimi previously worked across brands in South Africa including Coca-Cola, Kimberley Clarke, Samsung and Unilever and most recently worked with WPP Team GSK in Singapore where she held the role of Vice President. In her new role, she will focus on new strategic insights and creativity and strive for mass impact while leveraging data to drive delivery.

“In a time when the whole world is saying the same thing and many agencies offer a very similar offering I think it’s the quality of the talent that creates loyalty to our agency brands,” says Mimi. “My number one focus is on our people, our environment, our culture and our brand, ensuring that the team at RAPP are the most fulfilled and valued in our industry.”

New appointment at Spark*

Creative and branding agency, Spark* has appointed Nadine Abboud to the role of Director of Client Services. With over 15 years of integrated marketing and communications experience, Nadine has worked across several international and government clients including Mövenpick Hotels, Emirates Airlines and Unilever, where she formulated and executed marketing communication plans. In her new role, she will be responsible for providing the client servicing team with direction and support as well as overseeing campaign execution and working closely with all Spark* clients as their strategic advisor.

“I am delighted to be joining the dynamic team at Spark* – one that lives and breathes communication just as I have done throughout my career,” says Nadine. “Together we aim to have a significant impact by harnessing the power of excellent ideas for the benefit of our clients.”

In2 Consulting welcomes Lisa Flanagan

Dubai-based strategic corporate communications consultancy, In2 Consulting has appointed Lisa Flanagan to the role of Senior Communications Consultant.  With experience in consumer and corporate brands, Lisa previously worked in the UK with companies such as Unilever and Cancer Research UK. In 2011, she moved to the UAE, where she worked with Jumeirah, Hakkasan and most recently with The Ritz-Carlton. In her new role, she will support Managing Partner, Anne Bleeker and her team in delivering business values through PR strategy and planning, account management, media relations and marketing.

“I am excited to be making the move back to agency and was drawn to In2 Consulting for both its exceptional track record in the hospitality sector and its unique approach to client management, which is extremely personalised and collaborative,” says Lisa. “I am looking forward to a new challenge and developing campaigns which have real impact on our client’s business.”


Serviceplan Middle East launches Mediaplus Espresso

Serviceplan Middle East’s media arm Mediaplus has acquired local agency Espresso, to form Mediaplus Espresso. The newly-formed mid-sized agency will work on new ways of connecting brands and consumers through platform strategy, data analytics and precision targeting, with the aim to enable the delivery of successful campaigns for brands. Mediaplus Espresso will be headed up by Azhar Siddiqui who will take the role of Managing Partner, having 15 years of regional experience managing the media buying portfolios of several, large, global and local accounts including; McDonalds, Mastercard and Unilever.

“Espresso sprang from our desire to break away from the ‘network’ culture and to draw clients’ attention back to the added value of strategy and planning,” says Azhar. “Partnering with Mediaplus is an ideal move, since we become part of a wider group, enabling us to compete more effectively with global networks, while retaining our independence and working with like-minded entrepreneurs from within the Serviceplan Group.”

PHD start new year on a high

PHD has been named Global Media Network of the Year 2015 by Campaign MENA. The title was awarded to the company in the same year that it celebrated 25 years in media and has won clients including Unilever, GSK, SC Johnson, Ferrero and Bayer. PHD currently operates as a global network, with over 3,000 staff in more than 80 offices worldwide.

“PHD’s challenger positioning and focus on strategic comms planning and creative thinking has really set us apart this year,” says Mike Cooper, Worldwide CEO, PHD. “This point of difference is now starting to have the same draw globally as it has done in the UK over the last decade. Big brands are seeing the value in our global communications planning expertise and our success in that has led to us winning global buying assignments. 2015 should be remembered as the tipping point when buying-focused clients bought planning.”

Initiative appoints Global Creative Director

Global communications network Initiative, part of IPG Mediabrands, has appointed Nick Childs to the role of Global Chief Creative Officer. Reporting to Global CEO, Jim Elms, Nick will be responsible for overseeing creative story-building and trans-media content development for Initiative, which has offices in 73 markets and clients including Unilever, SAB Miller and BMW.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nick to the team,” says Jim Elms, CEO, Initiative. “At Initiative, we are not afraid of doing things differently. Nick’s exceptional talent and unique ability to craft stories that set brands apart will provide a huge boost to the agency, and will ensure we continue to succeed in taking clients into bold new territories.”

Nick adds “I’m beyond excited to be joining the agency at this stage of their journey and point in my career. In the past decade, we’ve seen a rise in integrated strategically-driven creative ideas that stretch across all media and Initiative has the opportunity to add to that growth. It’s also a change to have fun and help a great, global team work with exceptional clients.”