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Adil Khan has quit his position at Menacom and taken on the role of regional CEO for the Middle East and North Africa at Saatchi & Saatchi.
Khan, who was managing director of Y&R Dubai until March, was recently promoted to the position of CEO for strategy and development across Y&R, Intermarkets and The Classic Partnership following a reshuffle of senior management at the Menacom group.
Now he is set to join Saatchi & Saatchi on 15 June, taking on the regional CEO position that has been vacant since Elias Ashkar ‘resigned’ from the role in January following a year of upheaval at the agency.
It is understood that Khan will spearhead the agency’s regional growth, including the creation of new, wholly-owned Saatchi & Saatchi offices across the region following the ending of the agency’s 18-year association with Quantum Holding, its partner in what were formerly its Beirut and Amman offices.
Simon Francis, Saatchi’s CEO for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Adil has the spirit, energy, expertise and determination that fit perfectly with Saatchi & Saatchi’s belief that ‘Nothing is Impossible’. We are delighted that Adil has come on board to lead the MENA region through what will be an exciting time of growth allayed to our continuing culture of creative excellence in this most dynamic of regions.”
Khan joins a managerial team that includes Lineveldt, regional CFO Kristine Varma, and Ben Roberts, regional human interests director. The group will push ahead with the MENA network’s strategy from its base in Dubai.
Khan had been at Y&R in Dubai for 11 years, having joined the agency from Bates Madco in 1999. He has previously worked for JWT and
Property giant Aldar has called a review of its advertising business as part of a change in its communications strategy.
The Abu Dhabi-based developer, which has announced $75 billion worth of assignments since it launched in 2005, has invited 10 agencies to pitch for the account, with the review currently at the RFP stage.
Incumbents JWT and Impact BBDO are not involved in the review, which is understood to be the biggest new account up for grabs.
Sami Eid, deputy director of marketing and media at Aldar, said three of the 10 agencies would be shortlisted for the second round, before a decision was made later in the year.
“There’s a new strategy for the company and we are looking for an agency that will provide us with a creative solution to accommodate that change in the strategy,” said Eid.
“Because we are looking for a different approach we did not invite the agencies that used to work with us, including Impact BBDO and JWT. Not because we have anything against them, but because we need a change and it doesn’t make sense to go back to the same agencies.”
The company’s projects include Yas Island, Al Raha Beach, Central Market, Nareel Island, and Noor Al Ain. In April Aldar announced that it had incurred a net loss of $85.5 million during the first quarter of the year, compared with a net profit of $242 million for the period ending 31 March 2009.
A viral video featuring a speech made up of 30 advertising slogans is hoping to seduce young people to join the region’s advertising industry.
Created for Portfolio Night 8, which is taking place on 20 May at venues across the region, the spot was shot, edited and delivered by production company Muddville in three days.
Portfolio Night is the largest simultaneous advertising portfolio review in the world. Featuring a portfolio review process in a ‘speed-dating’ setting, the event helps students and aspiring young creatives break into the ad industry and involves the top creative directors in each participating city.
In Dubai, the event is being held by Memac Ogilvy at the Ritz Carlton. Doors open around 4.30pm but the first review session will begin at 6pm.
JWT Dubai and Y&R Dubai have both won gold pencils at this year’s One Show awards in New York.
At the awards ceremony on Thursday evening, JWT walked away with a gold for its ‘Stressball’ campaign for the Friends of Cancer Patients, whilst also securing a bronze for the same campaign in the One Show Design awards.
Y&R Dubai was the only other winner from the region, clinching gold, silver and bronze pencils for its ‘Cause & Effect’ work for client Harvey Nichols (pictured).
Mary Warlick, CEO of The One Club, which organises the awards, said: “This year’s One Show winners truly reflect the global nature of today’s creativity. Advertising is now shared and viewed all around the world, and the work that was awarded showcased brilliant marketing solutions that transcended borders.”
Entries for this year’s awards were down by just under 8 per cent following the One Show’s tough stance of scam ads. It announced last September that agencies and individual members of creative teams would be banned for up to five years if found guilty of submitting scam work.
Leo Burnett has won Dubai International Film Festival’s advertising brief following a pitch against six other agencies.
The agency has been tasked with rolling out DIFF’s marketing campaign for the seventh edition of the festival, which takes place from 12 to 19 December. The win incorporates both ATL and digital.
Leo Burnett, which has worked with DIFF before and coined the festival’s slogan, ‘Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds’, takes over from Impact Plus, which had been handling the account for four years. Also involved in the pitch were Memac Ogilvy, Tonic, JWT,
AdKitchen and Birdie.
Mahsa Motamedi, director of marketing and sponsorship at DIFF, said: “Leo Burnett’s innovative strategy complements our new media and digital campaigns and will help position DIFF as the definitive film festival of the region, carrying forward a legacy that has been established by Impact Plus.”
Kamal Dimachkie, MD of Leo Burnett Dubai, Kuwait & Lower Gulf, said: “Having collaborated with DIFF in the past, we understand the strategic outlook that is demanded by the festival, especially now that it has evolved tremendously in terms of audience participation, the film showcase and number of industry-focused events.”
Media remains with OMD, while Asda’a Burson-Marsteller continues as DIFF’s PR agency.
Starcom has retained Saudi Telecom’s media planning and buying account following a review of the marketing business of the region’s most important pan-Arab advertiser.
Saudi Telecom (STC) called a review of its media and creative advertising accounts earlier this year, with a decision yet to be made regarding the advertising side of the business. JWT and Leo Burnett are the incumbents on the creative accounts.
The STC media account is one of Starcom’s most important pieces of business and its retention has been cause for celebration at the agency.
Ramzi Ghanem, general manager of Starcom Riyadh, said: “This is fantastic news for us, a testament to our nine-year partnership that has generated business success and creative excellence in this marketplace.”
He added: “It is so rewarding working with STC, the 2010 Dubai Lynx Advertiser of the Year; an advertiser that is committed to driving innovation and raising industry standards in a highly dynamic telecom sector. We’ve got a highly enthusiastic team in place, a wealth of category experience, digital capabilities and determination to continuously provide STC with best-in-class services and solutions.”
In 2009, STC was the most important pan-Arab advertiser, spending $70 million according the Pan Arab Research Center, putting it in the number one spot ahead of the likes of Mobily, Coca-Cola, Dove and Zain.