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.