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."

Warner Music Group buys Dubai-based Qanawat Music

Warner Music Group has acquired Dubai-based digital entertainment company Qanawat Music. In a move that will strengthen Dubai's reputation as a media industry hub and an emerging focal point for growth in the digital music sector, global entertainment and record label Warner Music Group (WMG) has acquired Qanawat Music, a digital music and entertainment company in the North Africa (MENA) and Middle East. Qanawat Music is a subsidiary of Qanawat FZ LLC.The acquisition, one of the largest deals of its sorts to date in the entertainment and digital music sectors in Africa, Asia and Europe, is also expected to increase the fandom for Arabic content from a local to a global one and provide Arab talent more international exposure.Said Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the head of the Dubai Media Council: "Warner Music Group's acquisition of Qanawat Music is yet another entrepreneurial success story coming up from Dubai that elaborates the spiritedness of its media ecosystem and has permitted many homegrown ventures to transform their innovative and ambitious projects into reality."He continued: "The emirate offers a very productive environment for media talent and enterprise to flourish and grow. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, is the visionary behind this”.Qanawat FZ LLC is the largest distributor of Arabic music since its founding in 2001.A total of 200 billion views and streams were recorded in 2021 across all digital streaming services, including YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Anghami. Additionally, there were over 145 million videos uploaded by social network users to social media channels and over 200 billion views and streams across digital streaming platforms.Al Maktoum said: "Over the past ten years, a variety of sectors' Dubai-born businesses have benefited from the emirate's unique entrepreneurial environment to grow quickly and draw in the attention of international businesses. According to Al Maktoum, Dubai continues to offer the infrastructure and business-enabling services required for both existing businesses and start-ups to take advantage of the numerous opportunities developing in the quickly expanding markets in our area.” In accordance with the acquisition agreement, Adnan Al Obthani, the CEO of Qanawat Music, will continue to lead the organisation as a stand-alone entity inside the Warner Music Group portfolio.It will serve as WMG's primary local distributor and a source of upstreaming opportunities by utilising Qanawat Music's extensive distribution network and connections to over 1,100 established and emerging artists from the Arab world, including Ahlam, Saad Lamjarred, Hussain Al Jassmi Dalia Mubarak, and Marwan Khoury.Al Obthani said: “The largest and greatest Arabic entertainment and music material worldwide is now available to us owing to our merger with Warner Music Group, strengthening our position as the region's top digital music distributor and creative trailblazers.”He continued: "Warner Music Group has a long-term vision for developing the market here in MENA, and we are confident that this new chapter of our story will unveil a world of exciting opportunities for artists. In addition to our entry into new business areas like the Metaverse, NFT, and other creative fields," he said.Director of Dubai Media City Majed Al Suwaidi stated, "For more than 20 years, Dubai Media City has worked to give opportunities for success and growth for businesses and talents in all disciplines of media. This dynamic integrated business ecosystem, which is represented by Dubai Studio City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City, and the in5 Media start-up incubator, has drawn over 3,000 media organisations and 34,000 media professionals, and it is now used by Dubai to supply Arabic content to other countries.

UK teens shun news channels; turn to Insta, TikTok, YouTube

Ofcom’s News consumption in the UK 2021/22 report shows that, for the first time, Instagram is the most popular news source among teenagers used by nearly three in ten in 2022 (29%). TikTok and YouTube follow closely behind, used by 28% of youngsters to follow news.BBC One and BBC Two – historically the most popular news sources among teens – have been knocked off top spot down to fifth place. Around a quarter of teens (24%) use these channels for news in 2022, compared to nearly half (45%) just five years ago.BBC One remains the most used news source among all online adults, although it is one of several major TV news channels to reach fewer people in 2022. News viewing to BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News channel, ITV and Sky News is now below pre-pandemic levels, resuming a longer-term decline in traditional TV news viewing.TikTok clocks up millions more news usersConversely, TikTok has seen the largest increase in use of any news source between 2020 and 2022 – from 0.8 million UK adults in 2020 (1%), increasing to 3.9 million UK adults in 2022 (7%). This brings it onto a par with Sky News’ website and app.TikTok’s growth is primarily driven by younger age groups, with half of its news users aged 16 to 24. Users of TikTok for news claim to get more of their news on the platform from ‘other people they follow’ (44%) than ‘news organisations’ (24%).Teenagers today are increasingly unlikely to pick up a newspaper or tune into TV News, instead preferring to keep up-to-date by scrolling through their social feeds.And while youngsters find news on social media to be less reliable, they rate these services more highly for serving up a range of opinions on the day’s topical stories.Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and ResearchTV news remains trustedTV news remains the most trusted news source among UK adults (71%), with news on social media considered the least reliable (35%). CNN (83%) and Sky News (75%) are highly trusted by their viewers for news, while the public service broadcasters are also trusted by the majority of their viewers – BBC (73%), ITV (70%), Channel 4 (66%) and Channel 5 (59%). Sixty-seven per cent of newcomer GB News's viewers trust its news reporting.Among teens, half of YouTube and Twitter users think they provide trustworthy news stories (51% and 52% respectively). Despite its popularity for news, fewer than a third of youngsters (30%) trust TikTok’s news content.Decline in print news appears to accelerateThe combined use of print and online newspapers among adults is 38% in 2022, a significant decrease from 2020 (47%) and 2018 (51%).This is being driven by the substantial decrease of print newspaper reach in recent years, with the trend seen pre-pandemic appearing to accelerate, likely exacerbated by the pandemic. Less than a quarter (24%) of UK adults use print newspapers for news in 2022, compared with more than a third (35%) in 2020, and two in five (40%) in 2018. Use of newspapers among teenagers fell from 19% to 13% in the last five years.INTERNATIONAL3 MINUTES TO

Digital marketing firm YAAP acquires Dubai-based Crayons Communications

YAAP, a specialized content and influencer marketing company with operations in the UAE, India and Singapore, has fully acquired Crayons Communications, a well-known advertising agency with offices in Dubai, Riyadh and Manama. The 100% acquisition will see Crayons Communications merge with YAAP. YAAP has been on a stellar growth trajectory in recent months, having expanded its market footprint and offerings. YAAP’s impressive client portfolio includes Coca-Cola, Visit Dubai, Lufthansa, RuPay, American Express, Disney, Amazon, and Square Enix, among other leading brands. “YAAP has been actively looking to expand its presence in the UAE in particular and the GCC region as a whole. The Crayons Communications acquisition comes at the right time and gives us a great platform to bring our award-winning services in Influencer Marketing & Performance Media to this part of the world. Crayons has a good foundation of established clients that will help us quickly ramp up our service offerings here. We want to be a dominant player in IM, Web 3.0 (with a focus on building for the Metaverse), and media services. Going forward, as the markets correct globally, it presents us a great opportunity for more such acquisitions in this region,” said Atul Hegde, Founder of YAAP.For its part, Crayons Communications boasts over 14 years of market presence in the Middle East, over 250 successful projects, and about 150 clients to date. From homegrown giants such as the Apparel Group and Kaya to MNCs such as Fitbit, Crayons Communications’ portfolio characterizes a rare balance of global-local clients and expertise developed by virtue of longevity. Commenting on how the deal transpired, Kunal Lalani, Founder & Chairman of Crayons Communications Group, said, “While we have been working together on projects before , this acquisition seals our relationship formally with YAAP in this part of the world. I’m confident with YAAP coming in , it will create more opportunities for our people in terms of their own career growth and all our clients will benefit from a wide array of new services that will get launched here . I wish the entire team all the very best on the start of this exciting new phase.”Following an impressive top-line growth of 97% and a 5X jump in profitability in FY21-22, YAAP has been actively scouting strategic acquisitions in the digital content and media landscape across GCC. Crayons Communications adds key markets to YAAP’s existing footprint across three countries and seven cities. YAAP is currently developing solutions suites pertaining to Web 3.0 and the Metaverse.“I’m super excited to be part of the YAAP group now . With an added network of 7 cities and 100+ digital experts at YAAP , it opens up a whole new world of offerings for us in this region. We are known for always punching above our weight in the past with mega projects like the Chris Hemsworth film for Bayut , the Dubai super sixes property or The Bayut: your home , your choice awards , now our ambitions and goals will be much larger ! ” added Arshad Zaheer, CEO of Crayons Communications.

Direct-to-Avatar: The new frontier for brands in metaverse

For millennia, the only viable marketplace was the one based on physical exchange or physical-to-physical (P2P). Customers went to a physical place, chose a product, and exchanged tangible "fiat" money for the material items they desired in person.With the advent of the Internet, new marketplaces for exchanges emerged, beginning with social networking applications and e-commerce. With the advent of the metaverse and the approaching era of Web3, commerce will adapt, and new models will arise. The metaverse may be the next iteration of how we use the Internet to connect, communicate and transact, so it’s important for brands to stay in a “test-and-learn” mode and remain agile as they venture into this uncharted territory. According to Harvard Business Review, brands seeking to enter the metaverse should first determine their place in it and balance the risks and rewards of entering the digital landscape. Next, they should determine whether and how much of their target audience spends time in the metaverse and adjust their approach accordingly.Well, let that reality sink in. Metaverse is not just another online platform; it is a great business place for brands to come together and do whatever they have been doing in the real-world scenario.As the world is preparing to use the unmatched potential of metaverse, marketing methods and the dynamics of the businesses will undergo a seismic change. Professionals must evaluate demographic and psychographic data, skill-building and gamification, user interaction, events/ experiences, digital twin technologies, and developing a unified commerce front, all with the goal of boosting engagement with a product or service. Adding to this is the importance of community, fandom, and authenticity, as well as their effect on a fan’s and/or customer’s decisions in the physical and virtual domains.Direct-to-AvatarA new business model, known as “Direct-to-Avatar” (D2A), is evolving in the metaverse and is centred on delivering new goods to customers’ digital twins, which are their own avatars. D2A avoids traditional marketing by selling virtual things, tangible items, or real-world events through in-game personas. D2A may appear counterintuitive, but it is a rapidly growing market area with an increased sense of connection to purchase digital goods that may or may not have parallels in a physical world. Brands may use D2A to market V2V, P2V, and V2P services.MG Motor has announced its concept of MGverse, a metaverse platform, becoming the first car OEM in India and one of just a handful companies across sectors to do so. It will give its consumers and stakeholders with an engaging experience across numerous platforms.An MG Motors spokesperson explained how brands can make the best use of metaverse, “The metaverse is a parallel virtual world that builds on our real-world using technology like virtual and augmented reality. It offers users a new way to experience entertainment, gain information, connect with others, and purchase products.”There are several ways in which a brand can make the best use of metaverse:A company can create NFTs to connect with its customers. MG Motor is the first carmaker in India to launch NFTs. The company has launched 1,111 units of digital creatives as part of the launch collection, and these NFTs are categorized into four “C” segments: collectables, community & diversity, collaborative art, and CaaP (Car-as-a-Platform).The metaverse is an opportunity to build a greater community as it connects people from across states or countries. On the metaverse, people will live in a land without borders and can create communities based on mutual interests rather than location. In the metaverse, brands can sponsor events as gaming tournaments or music festivals.Since the pandemic, many businesses have been re-examining their work models. In 2021, 70% of companies planned to use hybrid business models that combine remote and in-office work. Workers are also eager to keep flexible work options, with 97% of workers expressing interest in working in either a full-time or hybrid remote position. Some images of the future metaverse show conference rooms with employee-avatars holding meetings like they would in an in-office setting. While this is not mainstream yet, the metaverse and its associated technologies are opening doors to a seamless virtual work environment that brands can capitalise on.The metaverse has opened even more opportunities for giving customers insights into the company: what brands stand for and how a brand’s products are customised. These insights will improve brand sales as 71% of customers will prefer brands that align with their personal values, helping brands to build a loyal customer base.Engagement is about converting users into consumers, said Rahul Singh, VP, Head of Marketing, SAP India. “Metaverse is a rapidly evolving area of opportunity both for B2C and B2B companies. However, to effectively leverage this technology, businesses and brands will have to adopt a test-and-learn mindset and be ready for continuous experimentation. Before plunging head on into any initiative, businesses will need to carefully set their goals and success metrics from such projects. They will also have to identify any new skill sets required internally or acquired through partnerships. Most importantly, businesses will have to choose the most relevant and impactful use cases where Metaverse could bring value throughout the enterprise across sales and marketing, manufacturing, operations, R&D or HR,” he added.Singh further said that SAP has recently leveraged the metaverse by extending a highly successful physical initiative called the Transformation Express (a mobile experience centre for its cloud solutions) and replicated the same experience in the virtual world. “This has not extended the life of the initiative; it will now be accessible to a much larger audience,” he claimed.Brands can’t do without itToshendra, founder-CEO of NFTICALLY, which has launched COMEARTH, world’s first general-usage e-commerce metaverse dedicated to e-commerce remarked, talked about the several ways through which brands can leverage metaverse.“Metaverse has the potential to become commonplace in the future. Just like companies and creators today can't afford to not be on the internet, a few years from now, a store in the metaverse would be quintessential for a brand's existence. Today, brands across sectors are exploring the realm of metaverse: gaming, fashion, fitness and sports, NFTs and digital art, entertainment, e-commerce, etc. This is so because of the advantage it brings to the brands. Metaverse provides a continuous experience that integrates elements from different platforms and brings audiences into one place. Platforms such as Sandbox, Decentraland, Comearth, and Roblox provide new ways of engaging with the audience, be it virtual events or launches, 3D experience to showcase or sell a product. Metaverse can also function as a fun location for team-building activities. The platform enables easy interaction with the global audience e-commerce business framework,” he said.With the debut of EnoVerse in PartyNite in metaverse, leading antacid brand ENO has joined the metaverse bandwagon. They hosted the first-ever stand-up comedy festival on metaverse, including ace stand-up comedian Zakir Khan, and provided an engaging and immersive experience for the audience. Bhawna Sikka, Digestive Health Business Lead of GSK Consumer Healthcare India, dwelled on the ways in which brands can leverage metaverse as it enables a more collaborative environment in which data will be ubiquitous and constantly available. “Metaverse is indeed an exciting avenue that is emerging for creating new and more immersive consumer experiences. Whilst, right now a large part of the metaverse experience in India is restricted to gaming platforms, going forward with improvement in both internet and overall technology, it will get more immersive. What this means is that brands will be able to host consumers and offer them a range of unique experiences and basis consumers’ interaction with these then generate insights and analytics which could help build deeper consumer understanding,” explained Sikka.Eno recently celebrated its 50 years with India’s first stand-up comic show on the metaverse, with technology improving they could do it at scale and invite consumers to watch live and enjoy as though they are at an event with their friends.They could then get first-hand understanding of who came (men, women, young or old), which region, how long they stayed for, what they said, etc., and build customised experiences for their consumers going forward. The scope for both understanding consumers and giving them a very personalised experience to build greater brand engagement is immense, she said.“Traditionally, one would identify top cities, organise agencies, and then plan Fri-Sunday activation in high-traffic locations like malls or hypermarkets to try and maximise the number of people one could reach for a brand activation event. It was time, cost and labour-intensive and would still limit how many people one could possibly reach to share the story the brand had to tell. Going forward with metaverse, you can create a very immersive experience for people across the country and do it at the same time. You can host consumers to see a new product launch, and understand what the product is all about. In consumer healthcare, consumers are often keen to understand the science of the product; all of this can potentially be done visually and in a very consumer-friendly way in the metaverse. The power of the experience and the possible scale of reach can enable a brand to win over consumers. Also, with NFTs coming in, going forward, there will be the potential for also commercialising these,” she explained.

Warner Bros. Discovery announces advertisers for Shark Week 2022

Warner Bros. Discovery announced new and returning advertising partners for Shark Week 2022, which will air from Sunday, July 24 through Sunday, July 31 on Discovery Channel and discovery+. Premiering for a landmark 34th year on Sunday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as its first Master of Ceremonies, Shark Week will feature non-stop action as it takes viewers to new locations, from the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas to Papau New Guinea, spotlighting innovative technology and research through exciting new series and specials. Additionally, fans can expect 25 adrenaline-inducing original hours that deliver never-seen footage of walking sharks, awe-inspiring breaches and more shocking predations captured on-camera by dedicated science and research field teams. This year’s slate of advertising partners builds upon the storytelling with organic sponsorships opportunities that elevate clients’ brands and reach a highly engaged audience. Shark Week is thrilled to welcome new partnerships from brands consumers know and love. New clients include Airbnb, Morey’s, Nautica, PNC Bank, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, and Sport Clips. Shark Week offers cross-platform sponsorship opportunities such as robust social media campaigns across Instagram, TikTok and Twitter Amplify, as well as on-air elements that include custom vignettes, tagged tune-ins, billboards and in-program messaging. On discovery+, Shark Week is offering pause ads. Returning to Shark Week this year are GEICO, Gorilla Glue, Jeep Brand®, Wayfair and SONIC Drive-In. Highlights include Jeep’s network sweepstakes and the return of last year’s hit Shark Week Slush at SONIC Drive-In, available at participating locations through July 31 while supplies last. Additional sponsorship elements across partners include custom billboards, tune-ins and in-program messaging. “Shark Week’s programming keeps viewers coming back annually, while providing our clients with sponsorship opportunities across linear and digital platforms that reach their target consumers wherever and whenever they view content,” said Scott Kohn, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales at Warner Bros. Discovery. “We partner with our clients to custom create impactful advertising opportunities based on their overall marketing objectives, and that unique offering has allowed us to generate impressive interest for 2023 sponsorships ahead of the premiere Shark Week 2022.” Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that has delighted viewers for 34 years. Shark Week 2022 features bigger sharks, bigger breaches, and even bigger findings than ever before spotlighting these elusive creatures and their mating and migration patterns in addition to the findings of a new, undescribed species.

Groupm introduces global framework for media decarbonization

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, today introduces the approach it will take to measure and reduce ad-based carbon emissions using a newly developed global carbon measurement framework. The framework is an innovative, new set of measurement methodologies designed to break down the media value chain and define the necessary data inputs to measure carbon emissions across all five stages of the advertising lifecycle for all formats, channels and markets in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s standards. The establishment of a globally scalable approach to carbon measurement is a major step GroupM is taking to deliver on its commitment to decarbonize its media supply chain by 2030, as announced by WPP in April 2021. It provides the parameters, data inputs and methodology necessary to power what we believe to be the industry’s most robust global carbon calculator, which will be available to GroupM clients later this year and will allow media planners to map the total carbon footprint of advertising campaigns from development to delivery.  “Our clients want to prioritize media investment with publishers and platforms that are actively decarbonizing their media supply,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO. “While we applaud the many steps taken to quantify ad-based carbon emissions in recent years, having different standards across companies, platforms, and markets is delaying meaningful action. By sharing this global framework, we hope to begin aligning our industry behind a consistent set of standards that will create clear goals and incentives for rapidly decarbonizing the media supply chain.” Jérôme Amouyal, Media Performance Insights Director, AXA said: “We have seen that our industry has an increasing number of calculators, but not an aligned reduction plan. It is important that we as a collective get behind a robust, actionable solution that accelerates decarbonization. We believe that market approaches such as GroupM’s will lead the way in educating, informing and enabling vital change in the industry. We’re looking forward to working with them to have the right framework to inform our future buying decisions.” To develop its decarbonization framework, GroupM worked with independent specialists in carbon measurement and incorporated input from clients, industry partners, third parties, and experts across GroupM and WPP. In addition to providing standards and processes for measuring carbon emissions, the framework also outlines steps advertisers can take immediately to accelerate their decarbonization efforts. These include buying fewer but higher-quality ads, cutting the complexity of the supply chain by reducing intermediaries, and buying low-carbon media products. To encourage the establishment of industry-wide standards for carbon measurement across channels and formats, GroupM will make the methodologies and processes supporting its new framework available to industry bodies and organizations committed to decarbonizing the media supply chain setting a target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  Sebastian Munden, Chair, Ad Net Zero, said: “Action 3 of the Ad Net Zero action plan is all about getting the whole industry to the point where we can accurately track, report and therefore reduce the carbon footprint of all media channels. This is no easy task, especially as we scale the efforts of Ad Net Zero globally. We would need an agreed standardized approach that works for all parts of the ecosystem: advertisers, agencies, media and tech. This move by GroupM is hugely welcome, and a very timely development to help deliver those aims. Through the new Ad Net Zero Global Group recently announced at Cannes Lions, we will explore how this approach can be scaled right across the industry.” The details of GroupM’s media decarbonization framework are summarized in Calculating a Cleaner Future Now: A Unified Methodology for Accelerated Media Decarbonization, a report published by GroupM today. To download the report and learn more about GroupM’s global framework for media decarbonization and WPP’s wider net zero commitments, visit and Parties interested in more information about the framework or who would like to obtain access to the complete report and methodology underpinning the framework should reach out to

Jonathan Rothery appointed BBC’s Head of pop music, TV

Under the leadership of Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music, Jonathan’s remit will solely focus on pop music commissions across TV, BBC iPlayer and Digital, whilst collaborating with radio and BBC Sounds to deliver across the portfolio. Jonathan will start in his new role on Monday 12 September.Lorna Clarke says: “With over 20 years working in television, Jonathan now brings his incredible skills and experience as a hugely respected programme-maker, executive producer and commissioner to the BBC’s music team. Having worked at a senior level on a vast range of content and formats, I’m looking forward to him bringing his genuine love for music and creativity and vision as he joins the BBC to deliver our world-class programming across all our platforms.”Jonathan Rothery says: “I feel very privileged to have spent 10 years commissioning such a broad range of shows and working with such amazing people at Channel 4. The opportunity to set my sights back on music TV and more specifically help build on the amazing slate of shows the BBC has to offer is a dream role for me.”Jonathan joined Channel 4 as commissioning editor in 2012 to oversee programming from live music events including V Festival, Mercury Music Prize and iTunes Festival. His music programming commissions include award-winning Four To The Floor and international hits John And Yoko: Above Us Only Sky; and George Michael: Freedom.Since 2018 he has also commissioned popular entertainment programmes, overseeing shows including Sunday Brunch, Tattoo Fixers and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. Recent commissions are Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, Johnny Vegas Carry On Glamping, Rosie Jones Trip Hazard and forthcoming Roku co-funded reality series, Tempting Fortune.Before joining Channel 4, as commissioning editor for music and entertainment at Sky, Jonathan oversaw Isle of Wight, Latitude and Cambridge Folk Festivals, and produced shows including Popworld (C4), 4 Music Presents (C4) and Big Brother’s Little Brother (C4/E4). Prior to that, whilst at BBC Music Entertainment, he worked on shows including Top Of The Pops (BBC One), Later... with Jools Holland (BBC Two) and Glastonbury Festival (BBC Two/BBC Three).

BARB appoints Matt Laycock as Audiences Director

Matt Laycock joins BARB on September 26th 2022 and will be responsible for ensuring that BARB’s audience-reporting solutions continue to meet the expectations of the UK television and advertising industry.Specifically, Matt will be responsible for delivering BARB’s four strategic priorities:Enhancing data accessibility for users.Extending BARB’s reporting of TV and TV-like viewing across linear, BVOD, SVOD and relevant content on video-sharing platforms.Further developing BARB’s Advanced Campaign Hub for agencies and advertisers and overseeing BARB’s input into the development of CFlight.Overseeing the delivery of an effective communications programme.Matt will work closely with Caroline Baxter, BARB’s recently appointed Research Operations Director, to ensure that users’ needs are understood and met effectively by BARB’s research contractors.Matt joins BARB from InSites Consulting, where he has been overseeing a wide range of market research projects for global consumer businesses. Prior to this, he spent nine years at The Walt Disney Company, most recently as Research Director – UK & Ireland, with responsibility for insight analysis across multiple lines of business. Before this, he was Research Manager – Sponsorship and Online Ad Sales for Channel 4, where he delivered research and insight analysis for the advertising sales teams in these sectors.Justin Sampson, BARB’s Chief Executive, said:“Synthesising the needs of the industry with research agency capabilities is at the heart of what the BARB team does. Matt’s instinctive skills and extensive experience of using our data complement Caroline’s expertise in delivering research solutions. I’m delighted he’s agreed to join BARB.”Matt Laycock added:“Given the ongoing evolution of TV services, video content and viewing, this is an especially interesting time to be joining BARB. With an expansion to the reporting panel in 2024, and following the innovations in reporting for SVOD services and video-sharing platforms, I look forward to joining the BARB team in delivering continued innovation and high quality data for the UK TV and advertising industry.”

Dubai will host a global metaverse event in September

Following the launch of a specific strategy to increase the sector's contribution to its economy, Dubai will hold a global conference in September that will bring together experts in the metaverse.The Dubai Metaverse Assembly will take place on September 28 and 29 in the emirate's renowned Museum of the Future, as announced by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.It will examine how the technology may be applied across important industries.More than 300 professionals, decision-makers, and thought leaders representing more than 40 organisations will attend the event and participate in seminars and workshops focusing on cutting-edge technology.The crown prince of Dubai stated: "We want to use this technology to improve life in the UAE and everywhere else. We want Dubai to lead the world in embracing future technology, comprehending its advancements, maximising its potential, and bringing about change."Within 15 years, the market for the metaverse is predicted to grow to $30 trillion. The news comes shortly after Sheikh Hamdan introduced the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which he expects would boost the local economy by $4 billion. As part of the goal, 40,000 new jobs will be created in the sector and Dubai's metaverse and blockchain business population will be doubled.

Robert Gilby appointed CEO APAC, Dentsu International

Dentsu International has announced the appointment of Robert (Rob) Gilby as CEO APAC, Dentsu International, effective September 5, 2022.“Rob is an exceptionally well-rounded leader with a progressive approach that deeply understands the future of the industry and opportunities for growth, for our people, our clients and our business,” said Dentsu International CEO, Wendy Clark. “Importantly, he clearly demonstrated his long-term vision, values-based leadership style and passion for building high-performance, diverse teams that is fundamental to the way we do business at dentsu.”Gilby will be responsible for unifying the APAC region’s 11,600 talented people in 18 markets around dentsu’s global ambition to be the most integrated network in the world. He has a strong platform for growth with the region’s transformation agenda showing positive results, delivering +4.7% organic revenue growth in FY2021 with momentum continuing into Q1 2022 delivering 5.2% organic revenue growth. His appointment follows the global launch of Dentsu Creative, with dentsu awarded Asia Pacific Regional Network of the Year and Dentsu Creative India named Global Agency of the Year at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. This momentum, coupled with Rob’s knowledge of the region, understanding of the advancing habits of Asian consumers and view on the future of the industry is a catalyst for growth, cementing the future success of dentsu’s APAC business.On joining the agency, Gilby said, “I was instantly drawn to dentsu’s compelling vision with its rich heritage as the only holding company born out of Asia. It is a privilege to be leading this region with the world looking to the Asia Pacific region as its GDP growth is forecasted to remain strong, the emerging middle-class booms and rapid digitisation and investment in homegrown platforms leapfrog existing technologies. Dentsu’s ability to understand people better than anyone else and vision for horizontal creativity coupled with these market conditions creates an exciting opportunity for brands to thrive.”Gilby has 30 years of experience in the Media and Entertainment industry and has worked in Asia Pacific for over 25 years. He has a proven track-record of growing profitable businesses, including WarnerMedia and The Walt Disney Company, with extensive experience in markets, including Australia, China, India, Southeast Asia and Singapore. He joins dentsu from Nielsen, where he is President, APAC responsible for building relationships with key media owners, brands and agencies to deliver audience insights across the media ecosystem. Prior to that, he was CEO & Founder, Blue Hat Ventures, an investment and advisory firm focussed on identifying and commercialising high-growth businesses in the Digital Media sector in Asia Pacific. He has held non-executive board and advisory roles at the Ministry of Communications & Information, the InfoComm Media Development Authority and the Singapore Media Festival.He will be based in Singapore, reporting to Wendy Clark, Global CEO, Dentsu International, and joins the Dentsu International Executive team.