Media Insight and MediaCom to merge

June 20, 2010

Media buying and planning unit Media Insight is to merge with Grey Worldwide’s MediaCom in the Middle East and North Africa.

Media Insight and its clients are in the process of being folded into MediaCom’s operations across the region, with the new entity retaining the MediaCom moniker. Both agencies are part of the WPP network.

MediaCom is fully owned by Grey Worldwide in the region, whilst Media Insight is a 50/50 joint venture between Memac Ogilvy and JWT and does not have a presence outside of the MENA region.

The new venture will be 40 per cent owned by Grey, with Memac Ogilvy and JWT holding a 30 per cent share each. A spokesman at Grey Worldwide was unwilling to comment on the merger, insisting that a full statement would be issued by WPP within the next few weeks. However, it is understood that a holding company is currently being registered in Bahrain that will take ownership of all of the regional offices belonging to MediaCom and Media Insight. Where there is a duplication of offices – such as in Dubai – the two offices are merging, with no loss of jobs, according to a reliable source.

It is proposed that the CEO will come from Grey, while the CFO will be from JWT. The head of Media Insight will take a backroom role across both MediCom and Mindshare.

The future of MediaCom in the Middle East had been the source of some speculation, especially after the worldwide head office decided not to defend its hold on Nokia’s estimated $415 million global media account. Locally, chief operating officer Hisham Tannir left in October to take up the position of CEO at Initiative. His departure was followed by the loss of other members of staff.


Zenithmedia drives off with BMW media account

November 16, 2009

BMW Group Middle East has handed its media buying and planning business to ZenithMedia following a competitive pitch.

Zenith will take over media buying responsibilities as of 1 January and will work closely with BMW’s regional office and importers across 14 Middle East markets.

bmwThe German car manufacturer had previously worked with Interone Resonance, which re-pitched for the business, but decided to go with Zenithmedia after a review of its regional media requirements. The pitch also included Magna and Media Insight.

Mohamed Fawzi, marketing manager for BMW Group Middle East, said: “One of our corporate agency partner policies is to look into the market every three years to ensure that we are working with the best possible consultants to represent our BMW Group brands: BMW and MINI. We involved our marketing and financial partners at our head office in Germany who worked closely with us throughout the pitch to ensure that we followed our professional global processes.

“It was a three-month process that involved several stages and comprehensive criteria on which each agency was judged. All agencies put great effort into understanding our business requirements and presented us with some strong media solutions. It was a difficult decision, but a holistic one that incorporated every relevant element. It is imperative for us to select a partner who not only understands both our BMW and MINI brands, but also the different tonality and brand messages we communicate to our BMW and MINI customers, and the different communication platforms we employ.”