PRCA MENA restructures MENA Regional Board

The Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East & North Africa (PRCA MENA) has restructured its MENA Regional Board, a pivotal move aimed at fortifying strategic direction and industry representation in the MENA region.The MENA Regional Board serves as the guiding force behind PRCA MENA's initiatives, ensuring alignment with industry standards and fostering excellence in the field of public relations and communications. The restructured board brings together a diverse ensemble of esteemed industry leaders, poised to infuse their collective expertise and insights to propel the organisation to new heights. "We are delighted to unveil the restructuring of our MENA Regional Board, signifying our commitment to championing excellence and innovation in the public relations and communications landscape across the MENA region. The wealth of knowledge and experience brought forth by our board members will be instrumental in shaping the future trajectory of our organisation and advancing the profession as a whole,” remarked James Hewes, CEO of PRCA.The newly appointed members of the PRCA MENA Regional Board are:  Ahmad Itani, Founder & CEO, Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy. Chairman, PRCA MENA  Alexandre Beaulieu, Founder & CEO, TBWA DJAZ  Claire Micheletti, Founder & Joint Managing Director, Cosmopole Consultancy  Howard Kosky, CEO & Founder, Markettiers4DC  Ibrahim Al Mutawa, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Jummar PR  Imad Lahad, Managing Director, APCO Worldwide Dubai  John Rynehart, Managing Director, Seven Media  Joseph Nalloor, Discipline Lead - School of Communication, Murdoch University Dubai  Kamal Taibi, Founder & CEO, StratëusGroup  Khaled Alshehhi, Executive Director Marketing and Communications at UAE Government Media Office  Laureline Schwarz, Head of Global Corporate Communication, PR, Public Relations at Al-Futtaim Automotive  Louay Al Samarrai – Joint Managing Director, Co-Founder, Active (Digital. Marketing. Communications)  Natalie Amos, Managing Director - Lifestyle MENA at Four Agency  Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, Founder and CEO, TishTash Communications  Nick Sandham, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Alshaya Group  Petra B Spanko, Regional Director, Katch International  Samantha Bartel, CEO & Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners MENAThese professionals bring a rich tapestry of experiences and expertise to their roles, representing a diverse array of sectors and perspectives within the communications industry.

ABC partners with Ad Net Zero to cut advertising emissions in the UAE

The Advertising Business Group (ABG), a leading self-regulatory non-profit organisation, has announced a strategic alliance with Ad Net Zero, a global initiative committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the advertising sector, signifying the launch of a pioneering initiative aimed at decarbonising the UAE’s advertising sector and encouraging sustainable behaviour change through advertising.The announcement, which was made at Dubai Lynx, MENA's premier festival of creativity, underscores a collective commitment to bolstering the markets’ role as the regional epicenter for driving sustainability within advertising and marketing initiatives across vital industries. By partnering with Ad Net Zero, the ABG aims to help the advertising industry contribute to the UAE's net-zero goals and promote responsible consumption and production. The launch of the chapter will serve as the regional hub for MENA and is a decisive move towards shaping a more sustainable future for the advertising industry in the region.Ad Net Zero is set to launch in the UAE with its founding supporters Google, META, Unilever, Group M, MCN, Dentsu, Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Media Group, all taking the lead in sustainable leadership and adding to the wider list of ANZ global supporters*. This commitment underscores the industry's dedication to pioneering responsible advertising standards and shaping a sustainable future.Commenting on the milestone Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication, UAE Government Media Office, stated: "With 2023 and 2024 declared as the Years of Sustainability by the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the successful culmination of COP28 in Dubai, the message is clear: Sustainability is not optional. The UAE proudly launches Ad Net Zero, marking a pivotal moment in our journey towards sustainability. This initiative, a project close to my professional journey in the UAE, is not just a response to a global climate emergency; it is a bold statement of our commitment in the advertising industry. Ad Net Zero empowers us to leverage our industry's unique influence to drive meaningful change. With this launch of Ad Net Zero, it's imperative to remember that everyone has a crucial part to play. This isn't just an initiative for the advertising industry; it's a universal call to action. Every individual, business, and sector can make impactful contributions toward our sustainable future. Let's unite in this vital effort."Sebastian Munden, Chair of Ad Net Zero, said: “We are pleased to see the reach of Ad Net Zero grow with the launch of the UAE Chapter, which will act as the regional hub for MENA. It takes motivated people across the sectors to get momentum for launch. The ABG’s public commitment for a more sustainable future in advertising is a vital step and connects them to the global community and the Ad Net Zero tools to help facilitate this outcome.“Motivating citizen behaviour change at scale was a topic that came up in many discussions I was part of at COP 28 in Dubai. A more sustainable and globally connected approach, from how ads are made to what they promote, can only be a good thing. There's no time to lose."The ABG recently unveiled its comprehensive sustainability agenda that aims to empower the industry to take direct action and reduce its negative impact from both advertising emissions and content. The agenda focuses on building a more sustainable sector through emissions reduction, closing the industry wide sustainability knowledge and skills gap, and empowering the industry to combat greenwashing practices.Leyal Eskin, Vice President, Head of Personal Care Business GCC Countries at Unilever and Chair of Advertising Business Group commented: “The Advertising Business Group’s (ABG) alliance with Ad Net Zero marks a pivotal moment in driving environmental sustainability for the UAE advertising industry and supports the UAE’s Net Zero commitment. This collaboration is a testament to the ABGs overall commitment in driving responsible advertising business practices and will help shape a sustainable future for the UAE’s advertising and marketing industry.”The advertising sector needs to take responsibility for a sustainable future, through both reducing its operational emissions and through creating work that leads to a more sustainable future.Ad Net Zero supporters, global, and at a national level, are required to set public science-based net zero targets. This can be done through either the Science Based Targets initiative, a commitment to the UN Race to Zero (including via the SME Climate Hub), The Climate Pledge, or other comparable alternatives. Supporters need to measure and report their progress annually. If supporters do not already have net zero targets in place, they are required to establish them within 15 months of joining Ad Net Zero. Ad Net Zero and ABG are committed to guiding supporters during the initial phase. For the first three months, both teams will offer comprehensive assistance, including information, training, and upskilling, to facilitate a smooth start to the measurement journey.ABG invites companies within the advertising and marketing industry to become Ad Net Zero supporters. By committing to ANZ, companies can play a leading role in setting responsible advertising standards, positively shaping the future of the industry. The initiative offers a clear five-point action plan and guidance for organisations to achieve net-zero GHG emissions within the advertising sector. Following the initial learning period, supporters will have 12 months to measure their emissions accurately and set their public science-based net zero target. Guidance and support will be provided to assist supporters in this crucial endeavor.

Middle East agencies bag 48 metals at the Lories 2023

At the 45th edition of the Lories, the premier awards event recognising creative excellence in advertising and brand communication across the MENA region, Middle East agencies shone with a total of 48 awards. Agencies such as McCann, Havas Middle East, Impact BBDO, Leo Burnett Beirut, MC Saatchi, MullenLowe MENA, Publicis Groupe, Publicis Middle East, and Saatchi and Saatchi ME were among the recipients. The prestigious Grand Prix was jointly awarded to FP7 McCann for its digital campaign "Heinzjack" and Impact BBDO for "Newspapers Inside The Newspaper" in the print communication category.Additionally, four campaigns received gold awards, including FP7 McCann for "Frequencies of Peace" and "Ketch-Up & Down," and Publicis Groupe for "McDonald’s Drive Thru School" and "Unseen Tears." Impact BBDO led the way with the most metals, securing 8 Silver and 8 Bronze, in addition to their Grand Prix. Publicis Groupe earned a total of 12 metals, including 2 Gold, 3 Silver, and 7 Bronze. FP7 McCann received 2 Silver and 3 Bronze awards in addition to their Grand Prix.Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi ME secured 3 Silver and 2 Bronze, while Publicis Middle East earned 2 Silver awards. Meanwhile, agencies Havas Middle East, Leo Burnett Beirut, MC Saatchi Abu Dhabi, and MullenLowe MENA each took home 1 Bronze.On a network level, Publicis Groupe was the standout winner with a total of 20 awards across its agencies. The event also honoured Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication from the UAE Government Media Office, as the recipient of the Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation 2023 award. He is the first awardee from the Middle East to receive this prestigious honour.

Dubai Lynx awards Khaled AlShehhi as Advertising Person of the Year

Dubai Lynx, MENA’s Festival and Awards, has announced Khaled AlShehhi as Advertising Person of the Year, Outstanding Contribution. It is considered to be one of the most important awards that celebrates efforts and contribution of individuals to MENA’s advertising.Khaled AlShehhi is one of the leading leaders, known to make amendments in the way the UAE Government communicates, producing content that has witnessed huge impact locally, regionally, and globally. He is a renowned motivational speaker around the world as well.Khaled has gained leadership roles at the Global CMO Growth Council led by Cannes Lions and the ANA, Brand Advisory Board (BAB) for The World Media Group, New York Festival AME Advisory Council, Executive Board Member in The Public Relations & Communications Association and Strategy Board Member in the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA). He has also won the World Media Award (WMA) for Content Leadership & Innovation for 2022 and the Honorary Award of the 2022 Effie MENA, and got featured in the Arabian Business’ 2021 Power List of individuals.After receiving this prestigious award, Khaled AlShehhi, executive director of marketing and communication at UAE Government Media Office, said: “Looking at the impressive pedigree of previous recipients, joining the exclusive club of Advertising Person of the Year at Dubai Lynx is an immense and amazing honour. In the marketing roles I have held in the last few years, I have been driven by the desire to innovate and achieve the best results possible for our humanitarian or nation-building campaigns. All I wanted was to serve my country to the best of my abilities and being awarded this title for me is the validation that I have met this ambition. This is the recognition of a lot of hard work by my team and the industry partners who inspire and support us, bound as we are by the same mission and dream. I not only thank them all but also dedicate this trophy to them as well. Advertising is the fruit of collaboration.”