Murdoch University Dubai partners with PRCA MENA

Murdoch University Dubai is the new university partner member of the Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East & North Africa (PRCA MENA). Murdoch University Dubai is the branch campus of Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, which is one of the 100 top universities in the world as well as PRCA University partner. According to the new partnership, university staff members and the students are entitled to full PRCA membership for the tenure of their employment and undergraduate or postgraduate course. Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, said: “We feel delighted to welcome Murdoch University Dubai which is recognized globally, to the PRCA EMEA. The institution holds a noteworthy history in education, as well as in the development of talent with a 5 star rating in numerous areas which include employability. We are looking forward to maintain the mission and vision of PRCA, to strengthen the PR industry all over the world and to extend our support via this partnership to the students and the staff.”Dr James Trotter, Academic president and Dean at Murdoch University, Dubai, said: “Students get a number of opportunities for the application of knowledge acquired by them in the classroom, by being exposed to real life experiences at Murdoch University, Dubai. We are partnering with the industry people in order to enable our students for interactions with working professionals in their particular disciplines on a regular basis. We also offer our students internship opportunities. It gives us immense pleasure to partner with one of the globally recognized leading PR association, PRCA, opening the doors to newer opportunities, enabling us to work together to strengthen the experiences of our communications students.”

New streaming service SkyShowtime to launch in Europe on Sept 20

New streaming service SkyShowtime  announced that it will officially launch on 20 September 2022, bringing its premium offering of exclusive and iconic entertainment to millions of homes across Europe for the first time.A joint venture of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) —parent company of NBCUniversal and Sky— and Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA), SkyShowtime will launch in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on 20 September, before expanding into the Netherlands later this year in Q4. SkyShowtime will continue its roll out across Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) over the coming months and through Q1 2023. CEE markets include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Specific launch dates and pricing in these markets will be announced in the coming months.SkyShowtime brings together the best entertainment from the world’s greatest studios and storytellers. Featuring thousands of hours of quality entertainment for the whole family, the service will be home to a wide selection of the world’s most highly anticipated series and movies.It will feature the exclusive television premieres of first-run theatrical films from Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, Hollywood’s two oldest studios and which together account for nearly 50% of Hollywood box office.#YOUTUBE_ujzpT7FTeeY#SkyShowtime will be the home to a selection of new blockbuster films following their theatrical and home entertainment release, including Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, The Northman, Sing 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Lost City, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Nope, Belfast, Ambulance and The Bad Guys.In addition, SkyShowtime features new premium scripted series, kids and family content and a selection of iconic library titles and box sets from Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount+, SHOWTIME®, Sky Studios and Peacock - all streaming in one place. SkyShowtime will also feature local original programming, documentaries and specials from its markets.In the Nordics, as part of the partnership with Paramount, SkyShowtime will replace Paramount+, allowing existing and future customers to watch current Paramount+ favourites such as Halo, Yellowstone, The Offer and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, as well as SHOWTIME® originals Yellowjackets, Dexter: New Blood, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, and The First Lady. And for the first time, subscribers will gain access to even more new and exclusive premium series and movies spanning the best of Universal Pictures, Sky Originals and NBCUniversal.From launch, customers can watch series premieres of highly anticipated SHOWTIME® drama American Gigolo, Sky Originals The Rising, The Fear Index, and The Midwich Cuckoos, as well as Law & Order Season 21 from Peacock. Over the coming months, additional series premieres will include Yellowstone Season 5, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, Vampire Academy and SHOWTIME® series Yellowjackets Season 2 and Let The Right One In.SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan said: “It’s time… for SkyShowtime, — the next great streaming service for Europe. Just months after receiving full regulatory approval, SkyShowtime will officially launch on 20 September 2022. We’re excited for our customers to have exclusive access to the latest series and movie premieres from our iconic and world-renowned studios. We look forward to sharing further details about launch dates for our other markets and bringing SkyShowtime to even more people across Europe.”SkyShowtime Regional General Manager for Northern Europe Henriette Skov commented: “We’re thrilled to launch SkyShowtime across the Nordics and look forward to offering our customers the very best selection of global series and movies all in one place.”The service will be available direct-to-consumer via the SkyShowtime app across Apple iOS, tvOS, Android devices, and through the website: SkyShowtime’s monthly price will be €6,99 in Finland, SEK 79 in Sweden, NOK 79 in Norway, and DKK 69 in Denmark.SkyShowtime will also be available through the following distribution partners across its Nordic markets: Allente, RiksTV, Ruutu, Sappa, Strim, Telenor, Tele2, Telia, Telmore and YouSee from Nuuday Group, and TV 2 Play.Powered by the Peacock platform, SkyShowtime was created specifically for Europe and is dedicated to these markets. With regional offices across its territories, SkyShowtime’s customer-centric focus and local market presence informs its approach to partnerships, content, and marketing. Once launched across more than 20 countries, SkyShowtime’s apps and content will be available in 18 different languages.

Survivor will be seen on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2023

Survivor, one of the world’s most successful TV formats, is coming to the UK.A new UK adaption of the entertainment phenomenon has been commissioned by BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Banijay UK company Remarkable Entertainment, run by leading entertainment producers Natalka Znak and Claire O’Donohoe.The brand new 16 x 60’ series of the ultimate physical and psychological gameshow promises viewers a compelling test of brains, brawn and betrayal as players compete to outwit, out play and outlast their rivals to be crowned the Ultimate Survivor.20 people, carefully selected from across the UK will be marooned in a tropical location. They will be divided into two tribes, going head-to-head in a range of physical and psychological challenges. Following a number of eliminations that will take place at the iconic tribal council, the tribes will eventually merge before one person takes away a cash prize and proves that they have what it takes to be the Ultimate Survivor.Survivor, a Banijay format created by Charlie Parsons, is one of the most watched reality entertainment formats around the world. Celebrating 25 years this year, (the format was first employed in 1997 in Sweden), the show has gone on to be ranked as the ‘Number 1 Best Reality Show of All Time’ by Variety. 50 versions have been commissioned around the world to date, and the CBS version of the show from the USA will soon be airing its 43rd series.Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted at the BBC says: “Survivor is a global television hit and to be able to bring one of TV’s most successful formats to audiences in the UK in a uniquely BBC way is a very exciting prospect indeed.”Natalka Znak, CEO Remarkable Entertainment says; “Survivor is ‘the greatest gameshow on earth’ for a reason - it has everything - reality, adventure, drama, and the ultimate game. I can’t wait to be boots on the ground, working with Paul Osborne, Stephen Lovelock and the fantastic team at Remarkable to make this epic series for the BBC.”Broadcast confirmation, presenter information and further casting details for the UK version of Survivor will be announced in due course.Survivor (16 x 60) is a Remarkable Entertainment (a Banijay UK company) production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer and was commissioned by Kate Phillips in her capacity as Director of Entertainment Commissioning. Natalka Znak from Remarkable Entertainment is Executive Producer alongside Claire O’Donohoe, Paul Osborne and Stephen Lovelock. The format was developed for the BBC by Richard Hague. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Rachel Ashdown.

The Rings of Power attracts 25m+ viewers on Prime Video

Amazon today announced The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, breaking all previous records, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video. The series launched exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “It is somehow fitting that Tolkien’s stories - among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre - have led us to this proud moment. I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate – and to our showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew - for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching – clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are – who are our true measure of success.”Episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will launch weekly through the October 14 season finale on Prime Video.Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.The series is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay. They are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, and producers Ron Ames and Christopher Newman. Wayne Che Yip is co-executive producer and directs along with J.A. Bayona and Charlotte Brändström.A world-renowned literary work, and winner of the International Fantasy Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, The Lord of the Rings was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in BBC’s "The Big Read" in 2003.The Lord of the Rings books have been translated into over 38 languages and have sold more than 150 million copies.

Waterfield Advisors advertises on Emirates Airline to empower its ambitions

In a one-of-its-kind initiative, Waterfield Advisors, India’s largest multi-family office and wealth advisory firm, has announced a strategic advertising placement on Emirates Airline to air the brand’s ad film across all Emirates flights, globally, via the in-flight entertainment system. Having pioneered the concept of wealth advisory in India, Waterfield Advisors now aspires to become a global brand with Indian roots. The vision is to become the trusted partner for international HNIs and UHNIs who are looking to invest in India. Through this initiative with Emirates Airline, Waterfield Advisors hopes to reach a discerning audience and narrate its brand philosophy in a premium and captive environment. Expressing his enthusiasm for this initiative, Mr. Yash Bhargava, Head of Marketing and Communications of Waterfield Advisors, said, “This premium media touch is very special for us because it enables us to tell our brand story to a niche, global and affluent audience in a unique format. Having its base in Dubai, Emirates Airline is strategically perfect for an Indian brand with global ambitions in the space of finance and business. The primary objective of the campaign is to increase brand awareness on a global scale and associating with a trusted and luxury brand. We are very excited that international investors flying from 157 cities and 83 countries will watch this ad film!” #YOUTUBE_JRZ31RWeOa8#As the first Wealth Management company in Asia to be a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI), Waterfield Advisors is committed to helping its clients align their investments to positive societal outcomes. India is among the most preferred investment destinations in the emerging world. Waterfield Advisors aims to be the gateway for international business families in their journey to access India’s outsized return-generating opportunities. Established in 2011, Waterfield Advisors today manages over $4.3 billion in assets on behalf of some of the largest and most iconic business families in India, which it serves from its 7 offices across India. Along with winning the client’s trust, Waterfield Advisors has been awarded several major honors by prestigious platforms such as Euromoney, Wealth Briefing Asia, Global Private Banking Awards, The Asset Triple A Private Capital Awards to name a few. Waterfield Advisors is also frequently mentioned in major publications such as Forbes, Fortune, Hubbis and Asia Private Banker.

iCubesWire increases footprint in MENA with Dubai office expansion

iCubesWire, a leading Digital Marketing Ecosystem established in 2010, has strengthened its presence in the MENA region with key hirings and client acquisitions. The company serves 500+ brands across industries, with offices in India, Singapore and Dubai. In addition, the agency is heavily investing in expanding its Dubai office to increase its footprint in the Middle East.Sharing his plans for the future, Mr. SahilChopra, Founder&CEO, iCubesWire, adds, “Our Dubai office and the region is doing exceedingly well, and we look forward to making key acquisitions in the region to strengthen our footprint. We have aggressive plans in the coming months to expand into EMEA and NAM region as well”.After successfully delivering strategy-led campaigns for more than 50+ brands in Middle East, the company israpidly increasing workforcetoadd more brands to its clientele. The company’sDubai office, located in the Media City, is headed by Sanjeeda Khan, Co-founder & Chief Growth Officer, along with DivyankNayal, acting as the Country Head.Danish Ahmed, Online Marketing Manager, Alshaya Group, comments on the news, “Our partnership with iCubesWire has been nothing short of phenomenal. The team keenly understands the business and has delivered successful campaigns with out-of-the-box thinking and seamless execution. We hope to reach greater heights with iCubesWire as our digital partner.”Commenting on the news, George Achkouty,Head of Digital - OMD KSA & Lower Gulf, says, “Our collaborations with iCubesWire for performance marketing campaigns have always proved to be fruitful. The team’s customer-centric approach has led us to consistently meet campaign objectives over the months with the right support, planning and seamless execution.”iCubesWirestrives to capture the market rapidly owing to a comprehensive portfolio including Digital Branding, Media Buying & Planning, Influencer Marketing, Performance Marketing and Video Production. The agency caters to brands across categories and has delivered digital campaigns for brands such as Amazon,, Bloomingdales, Emirates, fnp, Under Armour Sun and Sand Sports, Air Arabia, Gulf Air, and more.

Khaled Ameen, Hussain AlMahdi & Rawan Mahdi star in Netflix’s new Kuwaiti show '

Netflix is bringing a brand new Arabic dramedy series to screens this September, with the launch of 'The Cage'. The light-hearted Kuwaiti show stars several beloved Kuwaiti stars including Khaled Ameen, Hussain AlMahdi, Rawan Mahdi, Lamya Tareq and Hessah AlNabhan, showcasing more stories from the Arab world to global audiences.Khaled Ameen plays a social counselor who is working with a married couple, played by Hussain AlMahdi & Rawan Mahdi, to address their differences and better understand each other’s perspective to save their marriage. While the counselor is helping them reconnect, he’s facing his struggles in his personal life, too. Following the couple and the evolution of their relationship across 10 years, the 8-episode dramedy is a fresh take on tackling marital challenges in Arab drama, in a lighthearted and relatable way.The Cage, which is produced by Abdullah Boushahri and directed by Jasem Almuhanna, will be available on 23rd of September, only on Netflix.The Cage is the next milestone in Netflix’s journey in the region as it continues to invest in amplifying the voices of more Arab storytellers. The Cage is just the beginning for Netflix series in Kuwait, with another high-profile project in the works that promises to deliver a fresh perspective, exciting twists and turns and some beloved, familiar faces.

Amazon Freevee Brings Back The Suze Orman Show With an Exclusive Licensing Deal

Amazon Freevee announced a two-year licensing deal to bring back all 14 seasons of The Suze Orman Show. The deal includes multi-territory streaming rights including the U.S., UK, and Germany—with exclusive on-demand and FAST channel rights to the full library of 592 episodes of the iconic financial advice series. Starting today, 207 episodes will be released, with more episodes of The Suze Orman Show rolling out each month until the end of the year in the U.S. The series will be available on Amazon Freevee in the UK later this year, and in Germany next year. “Suze Orman is one of the most respected and recognized experts in personal finance. As viewers around the world seek answers to their questions about money management and the global economy, we couldn’t think of a better moment to make this show available—or a better partner than Suze,” said Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD Original content and programming at Amazon Studios. “We are honored she chose Amazon Freevee as the new, long-awaited destination to exclusively stream The Suze Orman Show—allowing audiences free access to the evergreen wisdom and practical advice she has shared with millions throughout the years.”“You should be so thrilled that Freevee is bringing back all episodes of The Suze Orman Show, because it gave financial freedom to millions of people,” said Suze Orman. “Freevee is the perfect new home for my show because it’s completely free of charge, so of course YOU ARE APPROVED to watch it!”  The Suze Orman ShowThe Suze Orman Show helps people make the connection between self-worth and net worth. In a format that's fast-paced, down-to-earth, and entertaining, Suze Orman candidly tells her audience the truth about money so viewers can change the course of their financial destiny—to be more and to have more.Amazon Freevee, formerly IMDb TVAmazon Freevee is a free ad-supported streaming video service with thousands of premium movies and TV shows, including Originals and FAST channels, available anytime, for free.Expansive Catalog: Amazon Freevee offers viewers ambitious Originals, including Bosch: Legacy; Emmy-winning court program Judy Justice; reality design series Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis; comedy series Sprung; music documentary Post Malone: Runaway; heist drama Leverage: Redemption; spy thriller Alex Rider; and the sports docuseries UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers. Combined with an always updating library of broadly appealing hit movies and TV shows across a wide selection of genres, and a catalog of more than 100 FAST channels, Freevee delivers customers the content they would expect to see on a paid service.Free: The entire catalog of content on the service is free. No paid subscriptions necessary.Limited Ads: Freevee provides customers highly sought content supported by limited advertising.Instant Access: On Prime Video, Freevee is available within the “Free with Ads” tab, “Live TV” tab, or through the “Popular Movies and TV – Free with Ads” carousel. Freevee is also available as an app on third party devices including Roku, Samsung smart TVs (2017-2021 models), Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, Xfinity X1, Chromecast with Google TV, NVIDIA SHIELD and other Android TV devices, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as LG Smart TVs (2018-2021 models). The app is also available on iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.To learn more about Amazon Freevee, visit and follow @AmazonFreevee.

beIN SPORTS renews exclusive rights to the Bundesliga across Middle East & North

 beIN SPORTS, the flagship channel of the beIN MEDIA GROUP, has renewed the rights to broadcast the Bundesliga in all 24 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in a three-year deal.The German top-flight returns to the beIN SPORTS channels this weekend with fixtures including Borussia Dortmund opening Matchday 5 against TSG Hoffenheim on Friday (kick-off at 21.30 MECCA) and first v second with Julian Nagelsmann’s FC Bayern München as they travel to 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday (kick-off at 16.30 MECCA).beIN SPORTS has the exclusive rights to all 306 Bundesliga fixtures, as well as the end-of-season relegation play-offs, the German Supercup, and Bundesliga 2 as the league returns to the leading media group in MENA. The deal includes full clip and highlights rights across beIN SPORTS’ digital and social media channels and Bundesliga is home to some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including 31 times champions FC Bayern München and the current UEFA Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt. After four weekends of the season, it already promises to be a campaign to remember, with Bayern and Union currently tied at the top. Dortmund are just one point back, and could leapfrog their rivals with a win on Friday night.beIN SPORTS now holds the rights to the Bundesliga in France, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, and the MENA region, covering 28 global territories in total.Mohammad Al-Subaie, CEO of beIN MENA, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Bundesliga back to beIN SPORTS in the MENA region. As one of the biggest and most significant leagues in world football, we’re proud to give German football fans the best viewing and engagement experiences, while helping German football flourish and grow. From the English Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, UEFA competitions, and an unparalleled multi-sports offering, Bundesliga sits alongside the best sports products in the world, as beIN SPORTS continues to be the ultimate destination for football and sports fans alike.”“We also look forward to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the biggest football showpiece in the world – and featuring a wealth of Bundesliga players – taking place right here in the Middle East, with every match exclusively live on beIN SPORTS. There’s never been a better time to be a beIN SPORTS subscriber.”Robert Klein, CEO of Bundesliga International, said: “With stars such as reigning African Player of the Year Sadio Mane lighting up the league each week, we look forward to working with beIN SPORTS to deliver world-class localised content and showcase the best of the Bundesliga over the next three years to the millions of football fans throughout the region, who can now follow the league as well as their favourite teams and players again.”

This World Water Week, PepsiCo AMESA recognizes key milestones of its Net Water

In observance of World Water Week, PepsiCo AMESA recognized its key water stewardship milestones in progressing towards the vision of becoming net positive by 2030. Guided by pep+, PepsiCo’s strategic end-to-end transformation for driving long-term sustainability, PepsiCo AMESA highlights its multi-pronged approach to watershed management through water-use efficiency on farms and in manufacturing facilities, water replenishment, watershed health improvement and safe water access for communities. Water Stewardship is of topmost priority to PepsiCo’s Positive Value Chain agenda.PepsiCo AMESA has avoided the use of approximately 5 billion litres of water in 2021 compared to 2020 by changing the way farmers irrigate crops, focusing on at-risk locations and improving water-use efficiency.Since 2021, PepsiCo AMESA estimates that it has improved water efficiency by a historic 50% in company-owned high-water risk sites across the region (excluding Pioneer Foods facilities in Sub Saharan Africa).PepsiCo AMESA further estimates that in 2021, it has replenished 2.5 billion litres of water through community partnership projects in 6 high risk watershed areas through with science-based interventions.PepsiCo Foundation in AMESA has invested more than $8 million in safe water access programs, impacting about 27 million people’s daily lives since 2018. “Collaboration with local stakeholders plays a key role in understanding the water circuit and implementing meaningful climate action in the most effective direction. We continue working hard to use water even more efficiently, replenish it in high-risk areas and bring safe water access to people in need. For the latter half of 2022, we look forward to more partnerships and targeted initiatives and look forward to exploring the potential for even more partnerships at COP27,” said Eugene Willemsen, CEO – Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, PepsiCo. “AMESA as a region is a very diverse and culturally rich sector and this demands the need for local solutions. We have been partnering with key regional and local governments to help them in their ambitions to achieve each country’s sustainability goals while using location-specific specialized solutions. Water disparity may look different for each country, however action towards water conservation must be united by one major focus – elevating the value of water and its equitable use by all in the watershed,” said Manali Desai, Sustainability Lead, AMESA, PepsiCo.

Netflix to lose SVOD revenues in Latin America

Latin American SVOD revenues will reach $8.54 billion by 2027; up from $5.01 billion in 2021. Netflix will account for 41% of the 2027 total, down from 72% in 2021. Netflix’s revenues will peak at $3.73 billion in 2023.Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, explained: “Netflix will introduce AVOD-SVOD tiers [one for Brazil and another pan-regional one for the Spanish-speaking countries] in 2024, with SVOD revenues and ARPUs falling slowly as some subscribers convert to cheaper packages.”Disney+ is likely to introduce similar tiers in 2024. The platform is expected to follow its US example by converting its current subscription tier to AVOD-SVOD and charging more for SVOD-only. This will push up ARPU.

WARC announcement: The Ad Spend Outlook 2022/23

Global advertising spend is on course to rise by 8.3% – or $67.3bn – to $880.9bn this year, finds WARC, lifted by a positive first half for holding companies and a boost from cyclical events in the second, most notably the US midterm elections and the men’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November. Market growth is then set to ease significantly – to 2.6% – in 2023, as investment is inhibited by cooling economic conditions and third-party cookie blocking online.The new projections, based on data from 100 ad markets worldwide, amount to a downgrade of 4.3 percentage points (pp) to 2022 growth and 5.7pp to 2023’s prospects, compared to WARC’s previous global forecast in December 2021. Taken together, the new forecasts represent a reduction of almost $90bn in growth potential for the global advertising market this year and next.Advertising holding companies – which serve many of the world’s biggest brands – have recorded a positive start to 2022, with all major firms upwardly revising forward guidance for the year ahead. Conversely, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), who largely buy ad space directly, are bearing the brunt of worsening economic conditions. A slowdown in SMB advertising activity will impact social media companies most – a sector already struggling to grapple with the impact of Apple’s new privacy measures. WARC expects social media ad spend to rise 11.5% this year (compared to +47.1% in 2021) then ease to just 5.2% in 2023 – the slowest rate yet for the sector.Aside from businesses, consumers are also feeling the squeeze of soaring price inflation. This is particularly true among low earners for whom energy and food costs comprise a higher proportion of income. Wealthier consumers, however, have seen the value of their assets appreciate in recent years and are more likely to have received above-inflation pay rises – spending intentions among high earners remain bullishly positive per Deloitte monitoring. Sectors like technology & electronics (+11.5% in 2023), pharma & healthcare (+7.5%) and household & domestic (+6.5%) are expected to post healthy increases in advertising investment to capture any available disposable income.Social media’s $40bn shortfallApple’s move to block third party cookies across its 2bn devices – which are used by 12% of the global population (860m people) – has already had an adverse impact on the social media companies which rely on third party data, most notably Facebook-parent company Meta. WARC believes that Apple’s privacy push – aside Google’s delayed move to block third party cookies from its Chrome browser (66% global market share) – will remove close to $40bn from the bottom line of these social media companies over the course of this year and next. A recent survey of over 1,500 practitioners for WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit found that only a third (34%) of respondents felt fully prepared for a post-cookie advertising market.Meta recorded its first annual decline in advertising income during Q2 2022 and WARC believes its full year growth will be flat over the forecast period, as the Instagram platform stymies ongoing losses from the core Facebook platform this year and next. TikTok (+41.5%), Snap (+5.8%) and Twitter (+2.7%) are all expected to record growth next year, but at a far slower rate than historically seen, while a number of Chinese platforms are set to record losses. Very few product sectors are cutting advertising investmentOf the 18 product sectors monitored by WARC, all bar automotive are on course to increase advertising spend this year. Only four sectors are expected to cut spend in 2023; transport & tourism (-0.4%), alcoholic drinks (-1.1%), financial services (-4.5%) and automotive (-12.4%).The technology & electronics sector – the third largest of the 18 monitored by WARC – is forecast to lead growth this year and next (+25.0% in 2022 and +11.5% in 2023), culminating in a total spend of $85.1bn by 2023. The pharma & healthcare sector then follows, with expected growth of 11.0% this year and a further 7.5% in 2023, by when investment will have topped $60bn globally. Retail – the largest sector monitored by WARC and which includes Amazon, the world’s largest advertiser by spend – is set to increase advertising investment by 6.8% this year and 3.6% next year despite retailers seeing tighter margins from inflationary pressures. The automotive sector, however, is bedogged by both supply- and demand-side pressures and is the only sector set to cut advertising spend in both 2022 (-5.3%) and 2023 (-12.4%).AVOD market heats up as streaming becomes war of attritionAdvertising spend in the video streaming sector is set to grow faster than the total ad market this year (+8.4%) and next year (+7.0%). Within this, the advertising-funded video on demand (AVOD) sector – which includes the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube – is expected to rise 8.0% this year and then a further 7.6% in 2023 to reach a value of almost $65bn.Aside from the social media players, YouTube’s fortunes have also proven vulnerable to privacy changes on Apple devices; WARC believes that YouTube’s advertising revenue will rise 7.3% this year (compared to a 45.9% in 2021), but that its growth will then ease to 5.6% in 2023. This would give the company 39.4% of the global AVOD market, a declining share (down 0.9pp from 2021) as competition heats up with the introduction of advertising to Disney+ and Netflix later this year. There is already evidence of saturation in the streaming market, particularly in the US, with audiences now using seven streaming services on average (compared to the global average of five). Consequently, new entrants are just as likely to be fighting for existing advertising spend as they are for incremental dollars, which could hinder overall growth of streaming operators in the short- medium-term.Streaming services owned by broadcasters (BVOD) are also set to grow their advertising income this year (+9.7%) and next (+5.2%), but from a far lower base (reaching $18.5bn in 2023). Linear TV is set to benefit from cyclic sporting and political events this year, raising advertising investment by 3.6% to $180bn (20.4% of all advertising spend) but the market is then on course to record a 4.5% loss in the absence of these events next year.Summing up, James McDonald, Director of Data, Intelligence & Forecasting, WARC, and author of the research, says: “With the growth rate of global output now set to halve and acute supply-side pressures fanning inflation, the economic slowdown has removed close to $90bn from global ad market growth prospects this year and next. Yet brands are still spending as the Covid recovery continues, and global ad trade remains on course to top $1trn in value by 2025. Platforms with rich sources of first-party data – most notably Amazon, Google and Apple – are well placed to weather future headwinds by offering measured performance in a climate where return on investment becomes paramount.”

PartyNite forays into the Middle East Market with its Dubai Office

In a strategic decision, Gamitronics, creator of PartyNite- India ka Apna Metaverse, today announced the launch of its UAE office in Dubai as part of its expansion plan. The opening is designed to provide support services to its growing client base to largely deal with PartyNite Metaverse and expansion in the space of Crypto and NFTs. Gamitronics has been eyeing the Middle East market for a while now, and the move comes close on the heels of successful big budget events and brand engagements orchestrated in India.Gamitronics is headquartered in Hyderabad, India and has a client base which includes many marquee brands throughout Asia. The company currently plans to employ over 10 full-time staff and will extend its sales, delivery and legal services in the Dubai Office.Rajat Ojha CEO and Founder of Partynite says, “Metaverse is the internet for the upcoming generations and we’re already working with a number of brands and operators who value reliable and engaging ways to reach their customers and we expect to continue to see growth in these markets. We definitely have the first mover advantage in India and our key strengths are strong client relationships, speed to market and full-service offerings. Our new Dubai operations office will provide solutions, product services and legal support for local and global needs overall. Brands today are seeking optimized solutions which makes it critical for service providers like us to develop capabilities to work faster and better.”He added, “Dubai has announced a very ambitious and aggressive Metaverse strategy already which is going to be headed by none other than their crown prince. They were very vocal about how UAEs community and industries can benefit from the endless possibilities of Metaverse and that's where Gamitronics wants to play a big role and are already working closely with the leadership to set the stage and be a part of this big huge moment”.

Anghami sees spike in subscribers

In the initial six months of 2021, the paid subscribers of Anghami, the music streaming platform, have increased by 41% at 1.28 million, in comparison to the same period in the past year. The number of users who were active increased by 46% to 19.5 million, raising revenues in the six months of Anghami to $21.1 million, at a rise of 29% on an annual basis. The streaming platform, the competitor to Spotify in the Arab world, has also made efforts to invest in extending its local Arabic content. It has previously declared a partnership with Amr Diab, the Egyptian superstar who also happens to be the artist who is most listened on the app, with 1.2 billion streams. Deals were also signed by Anghami, with Rotana Music, and Wajeez, the audiobook subscription service showcasing Arabic content.

Publicis Sapient acquires Changi Consulting

Changi Consulting, a provider of cloud solutions and a partner of Salesforce in the MENA area, has been acquired by Publicis Sapient, a company that specialises in digital business transformation. Changi, headquartered in Dubai, began operations in 2010. Changi has been representing Salesforce in the UAE for the past twelve years as its longest-standing partner there. The company's 100% Salesforce-certified professionals are from twelve different nations and are multilingual.Changi develops and offers cloud-based solutions aimed at assisting companies in expediting, automating, and streamlining their operations by using its expertise across all major industries and business functions. STC Bahrain and Alyasra Foods in Kuwait are just two of the more than 120 clients who employ Changi's services in the retail, consumer products, automotive, health, telecommunications, and financial services sectors. Over 400 projects have been successfully completed by Changi throughout the MENA region and the GCC, and the company continues to have a 5-star client rating and 9.89 customer satisfaction score on AppExchange.Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis Sapient, said: "We're really impressed by Changi's executive team, extensive depth of cloud expertise and capabilities, and broad relationship with Salesforce Publicis Sapient has acquired Changi as part of a strategic plan. It provides the framework for both the further global expansion of our cooperation with Salesforce and our rapid growth in the MENA area. In addition to having a great reputation within the Salesforce ecosystem, Changi is renowned for its capacity to handle challenging international projects, which continues to strengthen our distributed global delivery strategy”.Ghassan Chkaiban, founder and managing director of Changi Consulting, said: "Trust, enthusiasm, innovation, and a relentless focus on our customers at Changi power our ability to offer cloud-based solutions that assist expedite our clients' growth and create the finest customer experiences. Changi and Publicis Sapient have each partnered with Salesforce for more than ten years, have complementary skill sets across a range of industries, and share a dedication to acting as the go-to partner for digital business transformation for some of the most recognisable brands in the world. Our consumers benefit enormously from the strategic alignment of both teams. We're eager to work together to further improve consumer impact”.

Rusty Beukes joins Red Havas as creative director

Rusty Beukes, a globally recognised editor and creative consultant, has been named creative director of Red Havas Middle East. The new position intends to broaden Red Havas’ creative communications offering for its rapidly expanding portfolio of regional brand partners, with a particular emphasis on fashion, leisure, and beauty. Red Havas Middle East general manager Dana Tahir stated: “In an era where communications agencies face a near-daily redefinition of their identities and scopes of work to tailor those to the modern media landscape, we believe the role of PR is to provide diverse and impeccable service that moves at the pace of today’s lighting speed multimedia landscape. The exciting addition of Rusty to our team further complements and strengthens our merged media model, where our creative output as an agency is central to blending traditional and digital publishing, content and social media.”Rusty has a solid reputation in the area as interim editor-in-chief of GQ Middle East and launch creative director of YUNG, with over 12 years of experience in the publishing and communications business. He gives a unique perspective on the function of brand storytelling in defining and altering culture.Rusty Beukes, creative director, Red Havas Middle East said: “I am deeply honoured to be joining Red Havas and grateful for the opportunity to build on the agency’s success with Dana and the team. Creative storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to connect and identify experiences with the consumer journey. Recently, more and more brands have taken a range of initiatives, bringing to the fore more relatable, engaging and thought-provoking content through creative cultural storytelling. I’m looking forward to creating impactful campaigns with a lot more purpose and service in the region.” Rusty’s responsibility at Red Havas is to collaborate with Dana Tahir and the rest of the communications team to create and lead impactful, culture-shifting work. As such, Rusty will oversee the creative aspects of the Red Havas Middle East PR team and is accountable for the department’s creative philosophy, as well as developing a new offering specifically tailored to clients’ PR needs, with a long-term vision for a diverse team of supporting creatives and writers to deliver creative excellence across the board.

ZEE5 Global partners with LuLu Group in the Middle East for their “India Utsav”

 ZEE5 Global, the world’s largest streaming platform for South Asian content, has partnered with the LuLu Group for their India Utsav celebrations. The announcement was made in a press conference at LuLu Regional Headquarters in Dubai. In the Group’s first ever simultaneous region-wide launch of its celebration of the 75th Indian Independence Day - Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the “India Utsav” was launched at the same time across the GCC countries on 15th August 2022, Monday at Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi. The festival was inaugurated by H.E. Sunjay Sudhir Indian Ambassador to the UAE, alongside Mr. Yusuff Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer of ZEE5 Global, the official partners of this promotion, and other top officials and government authorities at LuLu Hypermarket Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi. “India Utsav” is a retail festival that brings alive the 3 Cs of the Indian experience at LuLu: Culture, Commerce and Cuisine. It showcases the close commercial ties UAE enjoys with India. In celebration of 75 Years of Indian Independence, the "India Utsav" will present a unique immersive shopping experience at LuLu with regional food trails, celebrity visits organised by ZEE5 Global and amazing promotions & Offers on every category from fresh food to grocery to lifestyle and fashion wear in time for the festive season to follow. ZEE5 GLOBAL PARTNERHSIPThis year, LuLu has partnered with ZEE5 Global, the world’s largest platform for South Asian entertainment. As part of the initiative, ZEE5 will be flying in popular actor Sonali Bendre to meet and greet with fans in the UAE. Shoppers at LuLu Hypermarkets across the GCC will also win a free annual subscription to ZEE5’s for every purchase of AED 1,000 and above; and a free one-month subscription or a 50% discount on yearly subscription for every purchase of AED 100 and above.  Speaking on the occasion H.E. Sunjay Sudhir said, “We are delighted to note that LuLu Group is celebrating the India Utsav across all their stores on the historic occasion of Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav and I thank LuLu Group for always promoting India and Indian products through their hypermarkets. No doubt initiatives such as this will go a long way further promoting the trade ties between India and UAE.” Mr. Yusuff Ali said, “Needless to say, India is very close to my heart and mind emotionally. On the occasion of the 75th Independence Day, I would say that the country is an emerging economic superpower, and the visionary foreign policy of PM Modi has led to stronger India-GCC ties and the UAE is emerging as one of India’s staunch business partners. I believe strongly that the LuLu Group can be a key player in this vision of the future for India.” “Apart from product promotion, India Utsav will also showcase rich cultural diversity of India through many shows, competitions and celebrity visits during the campaign period,” added V. Nandakumar, Director of Marketing & Communications, LuLu Group. Speaking on the occasion, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global said, “It’s a highly exciting time for ZEE5 Global as we have galloped ahead to become the No.1 streaming platform for South Asian content across multiple global markets, including the Middle East. We now look forward to continuing to build on this success through multiple local initiatives and on the back of our compelling content, further deepening our connection with South-Asian audiences here, we are thrilled to partner with LuLu for their India Utsav celebrations. This marks the continuation of a wonderful and deep relationship with them, and with the region.” Key highlights: Special stalls to promote Indian handicrafts, khadi products, Kashmir products, etc.Indian Food Festival to showcase different state cuisines and snacks.Daily cultural shows and competitions.Free subscriptions of ZEE5. KICKING OFF INDIAN FESTIVALS  “India Utsav” will herald LuLu’s celebration also of India’s busy festival months with a series of celebrations, LuLu India Utsav Deals for Indian Independence Day (from Aug 11th – Aug 17th), Janmashtami Specials (Aug 17th – Aug 18th), Ganesh Chaturthi (Aug 25th – Aug 30th), Onam (Aug 30th to Sept 8th), Navratri – (Sept & Oct), and culminating with Diwali (End of Oct).

New podcasts help drive record number of weekly users on BBC Sounds

It’s… Wagatha Christie was among the hugely popular new podcasts that helped bring a record 4.3 million weekly users to BBC Sounds between April and June this year, with a peak of 4.45 million during the week Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy’s trial went to court.New titles Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley, It’s... Wagatha Christie and The People Vs J. Edgar Hoover were among the most popular podcasts on BBC Sounds this quarter.Returning series’ proved popular among younger listeners with Match Of The Day: Top 10 the most popular podcast for under 35 year olds, and Bad People and You’re Dead To Me once again in the top ten.6 Degrees with Jamie and Spencer had the highest proportion of listeners under 35 with Pressed, Match Of The Day: Top 10 and The Footballer’s Football Podcast among the top ten.New series of The Unbelievable Truth, The News Quiz and Just A Minute were among the most popular on demand radio programmes after The Archers, with Radio 1’s Dance Anthems topping the list for listeners under 35.New music show launched for Back To Back Sounds Everything Is Emo with Hayley Williams was among the most popular music mixes this quarter.The latest data shows there were 392 million plays of all audio on BBC Sounds, with a total of 177 million plays for on-demand radio and podcasts in this quarter.54 percent of overall plays on BBC Sounds were for live content and 65 percent of all listening hours on BBC Sounds were live.On-demand radio programmesThe new series of David Mitchell’s enduringly popular The Unbelievable Truth was the most listened to on-demand radio programme after The Archers for all adults on BBC Sounds this quarter, followed by In Our Time and The News Quiz. They also featured in the top ten most listened to radio programmes for under 35s, which was topped by Radio 1’s Dance Anthems.The Breakfast Show with Greg James had the highest proportion of listeners under 35, followed by Radio 1 Anthems and Kenny Allstar.Podcasts on BBC SoundsNew podcasts that launched this quarter were among the most listened to on BBC Sounds. Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley which uncovers the true stories of Victorian women accused of murder, was the most popular. It’s... Wagatha Christie, launched around the Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy libel case that dominated the headlines, proved popular among all adults and listeners under 35 this quarter.Increasingly popular returning series’ helped drive younger listeners on BBC Sounds this quarter, with Match Of The Day: Top 10 the most popular for listeners under 35. Bad People, the podcast that questions the psychology behind some of the most disturbing cases in modern history, returned with a series of special episodes for pride month, Bi-People, and was once again among the top ten most listened to podcast for under 35 year olds, along with the beloved history podcast You’re Dead To Me.The acclaimed new series The People Vs. J. Edgar Hoover also featured in the top ten most listened to podcasts, along with Newscast, Putin and Ukrainecast following another busy news period.With Hollywood royalty now lining up to be their guests, 6 Degrees with Jamie and Spencer was among the most listened to podcasts by under 35 year olds, as well as the highest proportion of listeners under 35 this quarter. The straight-talking podcast Pressed was also among the podcasts with the highest proportion of listeners under 35, and with the season reaching its climax, Match of the Day Top 10 was the most popular podcast among younger listeners.Music mixesNew music show Everything Is Emo with Paramore’s Hayley Williams launched for Back To Back Sounds, the new music feature on BBC Sounds, was among the most popular music mixes, contributing to a total of 3 million plays of music this quarter.The consistently popular Sounds of the 90s with Fearne Cotton was the most listened to music mix, followed by Radio 1 Happy and the long awaited return of Glastonbury, after the festival’s three year hiatus.BBC podcasts and radio programmes on third party platformsFrom a total of 264 million global podcast downloads across the world during this quarter, Global News Podcast (BBC World Service), The Documentary (BBC World Service) and Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) were the most popular.

Meta receives Rs 13.9 crore in ad revenue from social, political organisations

Meta Ad Library just revealed Rs 13.9 crore in ad expenditure for India in the previous 90 days (May 2, 2022 to July 30, 2022) on social problems, elections, or politics. According to the statistics, spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and his non-profit organisation Isha Outreach are India's top advertiser on Meta platforms, spending an average of Rs 1.35 lakh per day in the last quarter, followed by micro-blogging platform KOO and OTT operator Voot Select.Furthermore, Sadhguru has spent Rs 99.24 lakh on Facebook advertisements in the last 90 days. The KOO app came in second with Rs 78.44 lakh spent, followed by Voot Select with Rs 61.14 lakh, UNICEF with Rs 47.50 lakh, and Kutumb with Rs 44.11 lakh.Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, openly provides statistics on advertisements related to social topics, elections, and politics.

ThinkAnalytics appoints industry veteran Greg Riker as Chief Revenue Officer

ThinkAnalytics, a global provider of cloud-based personalized content discovery, viewer insight, and targeted advertising solutions, today announced that Greg Riker has joined as Chief Revenue Officer. Greg will lead U.S. business development, sales, and customer success teams for the Think360 viewer engagement platform and ThinkAdvertising for hyper-targeted advertising. Based in the U.S., he will report to ThinkAnalytics Chairman, Eddie Young.Greg has a proven 20-year track record in senior sales leadership roles and C-level customer relationship management in the media and entertainment space. Most recently he led business development and sales, Americas, at Comcast for the Metrological business. Prior to this, until Metrological’s acquisition by Comcast, Greg was Senior Vice President at Metrological responsible for all commercial activity including content acquisition for the Americas. His experience also encompasses 10 years at ARRIS in the U.S. and the Netherlands, culminating in leading the global team responsible for selling the ARRIS cloud distribution platform.“ThinkAnalytics has a pedigree second to none when it comes to anticipating customers’ evolving needs and delivering exceptional results in the market. The company understands that offering a search function is no longer enough and, instead, operators need an ever-evolving combination of behavioral insights, automation, AI, and contextual advertising solutions to optimize viewer engagement,” said Greg Riker, CRO at ThinkAnalytics. “I look forward to joining the talented team and helping more media and video service providers on their journey to tackle subscriber monetization, engagement, and churn with Think360.”Eddie Young, Chairman, ThinkAnalytics, commented, “As media and video service providers tackle increased competition and customer loyalty, ThinkAnalytics is front and center in partnering with over 80 of the world’s leading TV and OTT businesses. Customers now want to move faster and adopt deeper personalization technologies for content discovery and advertising across TV and FAST services. In many cases, internal development teams just do not have the bandwidth, depth of expertise, or experience to implement such AI-driven applications and bring them to market in a timely fashion.“Greg brings exceptional expertise about how streaming providers and pay-TV operators need to adapt to meet fast-changing consumer needs in today’s competitive marketplace. With impressive experience that hits the hot areas such as engagement, content aggregation, and contextual advertising, Greg will provide value add to our customers and team from day one,” added Eddie Young.

Emirati media exec wins global award for outstanding UAE campaigns

Khaled AlShehhi, the UAE's government media officer's executive director of marketing and communication, won this year's World Media Award (WMA) for content leadership and innovation. The award is given by the World Media Group, a London-based publisher alliance that includes well-known media organisations such as The Atlantic, BBC Global News, Bloomberg Media, Reuters, and The New York Times. AlShehhi will be honoured at this year's World Music Awards in London in September.Individuals that produce "exemplary content-driven campaigns that demonstrate brand boldness, originality, and innovation" are given the prize. "Khaled AlShehhi wowed our judges with the sheer range and complexity of the campaigns he has executed," World Media Group CEO Belinda Barker remarked. An Emirati media executive has won a global prize for outstanding UAE advertisements. AlShehhi was a driving force behind numerous major UAE efforts, including the conversion of the Burj Khalifa into the world's largest contribution box, which reached over 4.5 billion people and raised over 1.2 million meals for those affected by the epidemic.Among the media executive's other notable efforts is the "Double Moon" campaign for the UAE's first Mars expedition. The initiative was a "regional first," with the release of a limited-edition passport stamp made of Martian ink for UAE tourists. AlShehhi also worked on a tourist film titled "A winder through my eyes," which featured the UAE as seen through the eyes of a blind person. The advertisement was praised for "breaking typical tourism content limits."The Emirati media executive also assisted in the branding of the UAE media office. “My goal has been to transform the way the UAE Government communicates by producing original innovative and creative content that positively impacts the lives of people locally, regionally and globally, so it’s truly an honour for me – and of course my team – to see our work recognised by our peers,” AlShehhi stated.Fedex's managing director for brand and customer experience design, Kaat Vanderheyde (2021), UBS' chief marketing officer, Johan Jervoe (2020), and Audi AG's worldwide media management, Christine von Hoerde, are previous recipients of the prize (2019).

Jargon Public Relations expands to Dubai

Cheryl King, the founder of King & Co. PR, will act as a consultant to the IT agency's operations in the region. King has spent the previous eight years in Dubai as the regional director of broadcast consultant Markettiers. Jargon's first overseas office has opened in the United Arab Emirates, bringing the agency's total number of operations to four. The others are in London, Manchester, and Reading, where the company is based.“The technology market in the UAE is growing at an incredible rate, with a projected 6.5% increase in IT spend to $8.2 billion between 2020-2023,” King added. “Jargon PR’s international client base and established reputation means the agency is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the market opportunity in the UAE. I’m excited to have the opportunity to support here and to provide some market knowledge to the international focus of the team.”

Netflix files copyright infringement lawsuit against Bridgerton Music creators

Netflix has sued the creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, a musical spin off of Netflix's alternate history drama Bridgerton. Reuters reported that Netflix is suing its creators, Abigail Barlow (pictured left) and Emily Bear (pictured right), on the grounds of copyright infringement, after repeatedly warning them.Netflix said: "Barlow and Bear's conduct began on social media, but stretches 'fan fiction' well past its breaking point. It is blatant infringement of intellectual property rights."Furthermore, Netflix said that the musical "attracted Bridgerton enthusiasts who would not have otherwise attended the Bridgerton event," an immersive experience offered by Netflix across the United States. Since January of last year, Barlow has been uploading musical spinoffs of Netflix's Bridgerton on TikTok. Barlow uploaded a multipart series of the spinoff titled "What if Bridgerton was a musical?" with over 1.9 million views at the time of writing. She then teamed with American music producer Bear, with whom she created a 15-song album last September. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Deezer have all made the album available. Julia Quinn, the author of Bridgerton, also expressed her support for the couple.Following that, Bear and Barlow received a Grammy this year for best musical theatre album at the 64th GRAMMY Awards. The pair performed at the Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary performance in October, then in December, they teamed with Grammy nominee Andrew Lloyd Webber on a "Cinderella/Bridgerton" mashup. The complaint was filed on July 26th, following the duo's sold out live performance of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical at the Kennedy Center. Meanwhile, Bridgeton author Julia Quinn stated, "There is, however, a distinction between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial benefit."Meanwhile, series creator Shonda Rhimes told Reuters that "while there is so much joy in seeing audiences fall in love with Bridgerton and find creative ways to express their appreciation, what began as a fun celebration by Barlow and Bear on social media has turned into the blatant taking of intellectual property solely for Barlow and Bear's financial benefit." In addition, Barlow and Bear have planned another live performance of the musical at London's Royal Albert Hall in September.Bridgerton, a Netflix original film that depicts the story of eight siblings yearning for love and happiness in London's high society, will be released in December 2020. Last year, it immediately rose to the Top 10 in Singapore. Because of the huge popularity of the series, Netflix released season two in March and plans to release season three soon. Previously, to promote the series in Singapore, Netflix Singapore used its Instagram account to depict the characters in Bridgerton as various teas – a commodity famous in England that Singaporeans can get at kopitiams (coffee shop). The characters were given tongue-in-cheek descriptions as part of the localised marketing gimmick.

Amine Sadik hired as UAE Cross Media Measurement Committee lead by ABG

Amine Sadik, who is the director media and digital – Levant & Arabic peninsula at Procter & Gamble, has been appointed as the lead of the UAE Cross-Media Measurement Committee by the Advertising Business Group (ABG). Amine is succeeded by Asad Rehman, who in recent times, has informed about his withdrawal as director digital and media hubs at Russia & Turkey, MENA at Unilever. CEO of Omnicom Media Group (MENA) and interim chairperson Elda Choucair said: “We feel very blessed for the leadership of Asad for overseeing this significant project and for completing the Phase 1 of the project successfully. We also are looking forward to be working with Amine in this important undertaking’s significant initiative.” The UAE cross-media measurement project is led by the ABG, and directed towards creating a measurement system solution, providing media owners and content producers with more correct audience measurement and standard data. The outcome of the successful agreement between Aqilliz and Ipsos in the UAE for the Proof of Concept (POC) phase was declared by ABG in May of 2022.Aqilliz and Ipsos are putting efforts together to build the cross-measurement project, with arranged workshops to be held with both committee members and companies within a short period of time. The mission behind the workshop is to generate the concluding POC scope. Choucair added: “The workshops will be very important for the success of the project and will bring about many meaningful discussions from experts and professionals in the media industry.”Amine has more than 15 years of experience in associating with the media industry, over nine years of experience of working at Procter & Gamble, assuming the responsibility of digital and media leader – North West Africa, digital & media director – Levant and P&G Arabic Preninsula, marketing operations director – North West Africa.Earlier, he served as senior media manager at Carat and marketing and communication director at Neoregie.

Ulrike von Mirbach to head the MINI Brand for Europe

The BMW Group has reported that Ulrike von Mirbach has taken over as the new Head of the MINI brand for Europe on 1 July 2022.Prior to this, she was accountable for the BMW & MINI retail business as part of the "new sales model Europe" project as well as for the overall development of the new sales structures for MINI. Furthermore, she will be seen continuing working this as well as being the Head of Brand MINI for Europe.The Group reported that Pierre Jalady, Ulrike’s predecessor, has taken over the responsibility of the MINI Brand in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa region.Ulrike von Mirbach has been a part of the BMW Group for over 17 years. During the initial days of her career, she was working on the marketing strategy of the BMW brand in the German market for around five years.She has played a key role in the development of the MINI brand in Germany and has successfully took forward the electrification of the brand.

Eshraq Investments in the last stages to acquire Goldilocks Fund

Eshraq Investments, based in Abu Dhabi, claimed that Goldilocks Fund's full acquisition was almost complete.In order to offset accumulated losses, the company is currently decreasing its share capital from AED2.325 billion to AED1.427 billion. It is also working on a capital increase that will come after the acquisition to pay for it.According to a statement from the firm, this acquisition should help Eshraq, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, to enhance its profitability."We are vigorously pursuing the purchase of the Goldilocks Fund. The company's financial performance will be strengthened, and operational efficiency will be increased, according to the shareholders' directive”, said Eshraq chairman Jassim Alseddiqi.He added "We are hopeful that this acquisition will spur on future growth prospects and produce lasting value for our shareholders. In the upcoming weeks, we look forward to giving the shareholders additional updates”.The transaction, which was first announced in March, is anticipated to increase Eshraq's assets to more than AED3.8 billion.The company, which is listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, also disclosed its condensed consolidated financial results, reporting a 151.7 percent increase in gross profit for the six months ending June 30.In terms of core operations, the business's gross profit from commercial operations increased by 151.7 percent compared to the same period previous year. The higher profit from its public stocks portfolio the previous year, however, caused its net profit of AED7.29 million to decline by 59% year over year.The transaction, which was first announced in March, is anticipated to increase Eshraq's assets to more than AED3.8 billion.The leasing and hotel industries contributed to the company's overall operating income of AED15.6 million. The occupancy rates at the Nuran Marina Serviced Residences and Daman Apartments in Eshraq were respectively 99% and 89%. The company's aggressive and smart leasing initiatives helped Nuran Marina post a 70% increase in average room rates (ARR).In the second quarter, Marina Rise, Eshraq's first mixed-use development on Reem Island, attained 98 percent occupancy, boosting recurrent income and capitalising on its land bank.For its land plots in Abu Dhabi, Reem Island and Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai, the company is looking at additional development opportunities, including joint venture opportunities.

Careem buys subscription-based meal delivery service Munch:On

As part of its continuous effort to become a super app, Careem, the UAE-based multi-service platform, has acquired the subscription-based food delivery service Munch:On.Munch:On will cease operations as a result of the acquisition, and its services will be moved to the Careem application, which recently expanded to provide payments, ride-hailing, PCR testing, food and other services in one integrated platform.Munch:On is a subscription-based food delivery service that connects clients to meals at a discount by utilising unused kitchen capacity as well as packaging, scheduling and routing technologies. It was founded in 2016. It now mainly caters to the corporate lunch market.Currently serving millions of consumers around the Middle East, the Careem app’s food offering is expanding quickly. According to Mudassir Sheikha (above), CEO and Co-Founder of Careem, by purchasing Munch:On, Careem Food will be able to construct an even more competitive offering with a far deeper variety of benefits for both restaurant partners and customers.Eight cities in the Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and Qatar can download the Careem app.

BinDawood to buy majority stake of influencer marketing company Ykone

BinDawood Holding, a Saudi Arabian grocery chain, disclosed on Sunday that talks had begun to buy the majority of the shares of Ykone, an influencer marketing firm.The transaction will be done through Future Technology Retail (FTR), a business that invests in technology and retail solutions, a completely owned subsidiary of BinDawood.An influencer marketing firm specialising in fashion, beauty, travel and luxury brands, Ykone was established in 2008 as a division of the French content creation company TF1. More than 200 companies worldwide receive end-to-end services from the group, which has presence in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. These services include talent management, strategy, monitoring and content production.Through a French subsidiary business that FTR has established, the acquisition will be made.In order to take advantage of tech-related investment opportunities in the retail sector, FTR was founded in January of this year. It was declared by the group in March that an agreement had been signed to acquire a majority stake in International Applications Trading Group, which handles and develops BinDawood e-commerce channels and BinDawood Holding’s Danube.

FleishmanHillard ANZ recruits four new senior executives

FleishmanHillard Australia and New Zealand, an Omnicom communications firm, has made a number of new leadership appointments that will join the worldwide FleishmanHillard network and TBWA locally. Jenna Orme has been promoted to managing director after eight years with the agency, the previous six as general manager, with Lexi Penfold joining from sibling PR firm Eleven to fill the vacant general manager position.Orme and Penfold will lead the integrated communications firm into a new era, after the rebound of the tourist industry, which has resulted in increased client growth, as well as FMCG and professional services victories. FleishmanHillard has appointed two new directors to its corporate and consumer communication businesses, in addition to the leadership appointments. Emma Jane Edwards, the recently hired director of corporate communications, is in charge of the corporate discipline. Edward has worked with major agency networks including as M&C Saatchi Group, Edelman, and Weber Shandwick, as well as clients such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, Amazon, and Unilever. Her hiring brings her back to FleishmanHillard after a brief sojourn in London.Alex Opitz has been elevated to the new position of director of brand marketing on the consumer side. Opitz joined FleishmanHillard in 2018, and her experience in the travel, technology, and luxury sectors gained over 15 years in the business working with brands such as Luxottica, Cathay Pacific, Bose, Fitbit, and Carnival Australia has been critical to the consumer division's success. "I am tremendously delighted to continue inside the TBWA family and transfer into FleishmanHillard," Penfold stated. I've been watching the team from the sidelines for the past year and am excited to get started and help a passionate and talented bunch of people that bring intelligence and originality to their work every day.""It's been a terrific eight years, and I'm looking forward to the next step with Lexi, Emma Jane, and Alex," Orme added. Our global smarts through the FleishmanHillard network, combined with acute local insights and expertise, provides clients an advantage as the industry transitions into its next era, and our people the opportunity to expand beyond our borders." "FleishmanHillard is the silent achiever of our TBWA Collective, moving from strength to strength each year," said Roberto Pace, group managing director, PR at TBWA. It is ideally positioned to bring the best of the global FleishmanHillard network to life locally, in addition to what TBWA has to offer in terms of strategic and creative capabilities. Congratulations to Jenna, Lexi, and the team for all they've accomplished so far and what's to come."