Ahmed Younis joins Publicis Groupe ME as Chief Creative Officer for Publicis KSA

Publicis Groupe Middle East announced the appointment of Ahmed Younis, more commonly known as Fizo in the industry, as its new Chief Creative Officer for Publicis Communications KSA, overseeing Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. Recognised as one of the top 10 Creative Leaders in MENA, Fizo will drive the Groupe’s creative agenda in the Kingdom and foster collaborative teams that deliver extraordinary work for clients. Fizo has an impressive 25-year journey in creative leadership, digital strategy, social media marketing. His campaigns have left a significant impact on the advertising landscape in the region. Prior to joining Publicis Groupe ME, he served as the Head of Creative Strategy at Meta MENA, where he played a key role in developing strategies and campaigns that advanced digital marketing in the region. With direct experience leading global cross-functional teams, Fizo contributed significantly to generating millions of dollars in revenue for major moments like Ramadan and the World Cup.Commenting on the appointment Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe ME&T said, “Fizo, is one of the most celebrated creative leaders in this region and he has been instrumental in showcasing regional creative excellence globally. With Saudi Arabia fast emerging as a thriving creative hub, Ahmed taking the creative helm ensures we not only stay ahead of the curve but help define the creative narrative of the Kingdom. Under his leadership, we are well-positioned to deliver transformative work for our clients”. Before Meta, Fizo was with FP7 McCann Cairo for almost a decade where he worked on high-profile clients Coca-Cola, Orange, Nestlé, McDonald's, and the UN World Food Programme. He comes highly decorated winning awards from key shows like Cannes Lions, D&AD, MENA Effies, Andy’s and LIA. “It’s exciting to join a team I’ve admired for so long. The Groupe’s work has always inspired me, and this feels like a homecoming as everyone is so welcoming. I’m looking forward to utilising my creative leadership and experience to build stronger connections and drive success with our partners”, said Ahmed Younis, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Communications KSA.

Joyce Hallak joins Publicis Media as Chief Strategy Officer

Joyce Hallak has been appointed as the Chief Strategy Officer of Publicis Media for the Middle East. This newly established role is in line with Publicis Groupe's commitment to enhancing its media capabilities in the region. Hallak's appointment is a crucial addition to the recently formed executive leadership team at Publicis Media ME and is expected to play a vital role in strengthening the strategic direction of the group's media operations.Joyce Hallak has a longstanding history with Publicis Groupe Middle East, spanning 16 years. She initially joined as Media Director at Starcom Lebanon in 2007 and has since held various roles, including Client Managing Director for Mondelez EMEA. In this role, she oversaw 20 markets and drove digital transformation, earning the team accolades at industry events such as MENA Effies, Cristals, and Dubai Lynx.In 2016, Hallak was promoted to Head of Starcom for Levant, where she led all local operations. Her extensive experience includes handling key brands like Cadbury, Oreo, and Trident for Mondelez, as well as delivering value for multinational clients such as Samsung, Heineken, and Visa across multiple markets.Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe Middle East and Turkey, expressed enthusiasm about Hallak's expanded role, highlighting her strategic prowess and leadership qualities. He emphasized her importance in advancing Publicis Media ME's transformation and contributing to the overall strategic agenda for the region.Tony Wazen, CEO of Publicis Media ME, underscored the increasing demand for innovative solutions from clients and expressed confidence in Hallak's ability to contribute to meeting and surpassing those expectations. As Chief Strategy Officer, Hallak will play a pivotal role in crafting solutions for client business challenges, setting standards for the media strategic product, identifying new business opportunities, and aligning client needs with successful strategies.In her new position, Joyce Hallak expressed her excitement to be part of the Publicis Media team and emphasized the unique opportunity to navigate the evolving landscape of how brands connect with consumers. She highlighted the 'Power of One' proposition, emphasizing the integration of media, creative excellence, and performance solutions to deliver tangible business impact for clients.

Publicis Groupe Middle East dominates the 2023 MENA Effie Awards

The MENA Effie Awards, recognising excellence in marketing and advertising were concluded last week. Once again this year, Publicis Groupe Middle East dominated the field, winning a total of 54 metals- The Grand Prix, 16 Gold, 21 Silver, and 16 Bronze, totalling 64% of all awards issued that night. And, for the second consecutive year: ·      The Most Effective Network of the Year went to Leo Burnett Middle East, with 12 Gold, 12 Silver and 14 Bronze Effies, along with The Effie 2023 Grand Prix, across offices in UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The best network spread in terms of awards this year. ·      The Most Effective Agency of the Year went to Leo Burnett Dubai, with 11 Gold, 11 Silver and 6 Bronze Effies, along with The Effie 2023 Grand Prix for their work with K-Lynn and ‘Self-Check Out’.  In addition to: ·      The Most Effective Media Agency of the Year going to Starcom Middle East, with its numerous wins across agency brands. Commenting on the Groupe’s performance, Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East and Turkey said “Award shows like the MENA Effies are important as they serve to push the bar of marketing and creative excellence for this industry. They encourage agencies and brands to improve the effectiveness of campaigns, driving stronger results and more meaningful impact. Being recognised at this level by your industry peers reaffirms the great work that our amazing talents, clients and partners are delivering.”  Other agencies under Publicis Groupe also turned out winning performances including Saatchi & Saatchi ME, Leo Burnett Beirut, Publicis ME and Prodigious ME, along with wins from Digitas, Spark Foundry, Zenith and Publicis LEVANT. Adding to this, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi have earned 9 global finalists at the Global Effie ‘Best of the Best Awards’, which are due in December. “We treat every client and every brief as an opportunity to do work that’s solving problems – brand, business, societal or cultural. And this focus on creative marketing that drives consistent impact, gives us not just the volumes but importantly, a rich range of quality and diverse effective work that does well in the world, and hence, does well in jury rooms. The juries are not easy, and they reward work on merit. So, it’s extremely fulfilling to watch our clients, our partners and our talents win and celebrate their work”, said Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer at Publicis Groupe ME&T.

Leo Burnett ME declared frontrunner at NYF’s AME agency report

New York Festivals has released its 2023 AME Agency Report ranking agencies for cutting-edge and effective creative work for prominent advertisers. Leo Burnett Middle East, a Publicis Groupe agency, has been declared the frontrunner in this year’s AME Awards annual ranking report. Its impressive array of outcome-focused campaigns received top honors and secured the agency a premier spot on this year’s AME Agency Report.Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, said: “Awards shows like the AMEs are important as they continually raise our standards as an industry. They encourage agencies and brands to improve the effectiveness of campaigns and ultimately deliver better value for the end consumer. Having been most awarded at the recent AMEs, and now being ranked number one globally validates that we’re leading the curve in both creativity and effectiveness. And this is only possible when you have exceptional talents to make this happen.”Leo Burnett Middle East earned the highest number of points for its exceptionally progressive creative and effective campaigns including the result-driven Gold-winning campaign “Self Check Out” for client K-Lynn. “Self Check Out,” on K-Lynn’s e-commerce site, pioneered a unique channel that engaged Arab women during captive moments, prompting effective self-checks comfortably.Gold-winning “Homecoming,” Leo Burnett Middle East’s campaign, created for client Home Centre, championed adoption, confronted cultural taboos, and became the pioneering initiative addressing orphaned children in the Middle East, resulting in their placement into homes. In total the Publicis Groupe agency earned an impressive two AME Gold Tower Awards, six Silver, 10 Bronze, and four Finalist Awards.Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey, said: “The best agencies win at both creative and effectiveness award shows. The AME Awards by New York Festivals have, for many years, been respected as a premium competition for creative and marketing effectiveness globally. It is not easy to win awards there. And seeing us rank number one globally and our work win the most globally across a range of brands from our region, following the success at other shows for those same brands, is a testament to the fact that we are making work that does work for our brand partners.”Vector B McCann was in the spotlight with its state-of-the-art campaign, “The Greatest Guide to Jochos & Burgers,” for client Bimbo. Its innovative work catapulted the agency to the number two spot on the prestigious AME Agency Report. Prominent agencies ranking in the top tier of the report include BBDO China, Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East, Leo Burnett Manila, and McCann Canada.

Shereen Mostafa named Head of A/V Productions for Publicis Communications ME

Publicis Communications, the creative hub of Publicis Groupe Middle East recently promoted Shereen Mostafa to Head A/V Production. In this capacity, Shereen leads the production practice across Publicis Groupe, managing production operations across agencies and overseeing the Groupe’s scope at large. She will also focus on elevating the production practices to achieve creative excellence and developing & implementing a strategic vision to build a production community that offers clients integrated and innovative solutions. Beginning her career at Publicis Groupe's Cairo office, Shereen is regarded as one of the industry's most accomplished and recognised production heads. With over 17 years of experience, she has consistently delivered exceptional results across numerous campaigns for renowned clients, including McDonald’s, The Coca Cola Company, PepsiCo, Bel, Kellogg’s, Danone, Nestle, Ferrero, Kraft, P&G, du, Etisalat by e&, Philip Morris, Samsung, Emirates Airlines, HSBC, GMC, Mercedes, Infinity, EMAAR, and many more. She also served as a jury member for D&AD in both 2021 and 2022 and is one of the Executive Jury of CICLOPE Festival 2023 happening in Berlin.“Shereen’s deep understanding of different cultures across the Middle East and globally, unique creative vision, coupled with her years of experience in the advertising industry, brings significant value to all her projects, going beyond traditional advertising. I wish her luck with her new role”, Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey.Commenting on her appointment Shereen said “A producer isn’t anymore the person who’s in charge of the budget spent, but the maestro and creative mind who can put the whole puzzle together. We are lucky to work in an industry that we love, something that brings happiness and joy to our hearts with every piece of work we produce and be proud of. Recognition is always great and rewarding, but it should always be secondary. I am extremely excited about my new role and look forward to collaborating with the exceptionally talented individuals I have the privilege of working alongside. I am committed to putting in the effort and producing exceptional work.”With numerous accolades and international recognitions to her credit, Shereen's journey in the industry continues to shine. From Cannes Lions to D&AD, Effies, Lynx, LIA, and beyond, her impressive track record speaks volumes.

Athar Festival and Publicis Groupe Middle East launch Maheerah WEP

Riyadh: Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom, is proud to announce Maheerah, its women’s empowerment programme, for the festival’s inaugural edition.Organised in partnership with Publicis Groupe Middle East, a regional leader in marketing, communication, and digital business transformation, Maheerah is an acceleration initiative designed for women poised for career advancement within Saudi Arabia’s marketing communications industry. It aims to bring participants into the industry's spotlight at a time when more women than ever are rising to prominent roles in the Kingdom's workforce.Geared towards women with mid to senior-level expertise in the industry, the program offers 10 participants a series of tailored coaching sessions, individualised workshops, mentoring by esteemed industry leaders from around the world, exclusive networking opportunities, and more. In addition to full festival access, participants will also be invited to attend the Athar Industry Awards.As the official ambassador of Maheerah, Alaa Khushaim, Director of Marketing and Communications at McDonald's KSA - West & South will play a pivotal role throughout every stage of the programme, from participant shortlisting and selection to providing guidance and inspiration to the attendees. Excited with the opportunity, and the impact it will have on the careers of the participants, Khushaim stated, “When I was first approached with Maheerah, I saw a chance to be a part of an initiative that will leave a mark on the professional lives of 10 young women in Saudi Arabia and enable and inspire them with the right knowledge and skills to achieve remarkable things in our industry. I look forward to not only sharing my own experiences and expertise but also to learning from them. In line with one of the core objectives of Athar Festival, this programme will undoubtedly bring the marketing and creative community together to create long-lasting impact.”Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, said, "We are truly delighted to bring this initiative to Athar Festival. There is a wealth of female talent in the Kingdom, and this program offers a unique opportunity to create a supportive network of empowered women who can achieve their full potential and pass on their knowledge to others."Bassel Kakish, Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey said, “Talent will always be the most important asset that this industry will have. As a talent-first organisation, Publicis Groupe Middle East believes in investing in and empowering the future generation of leaders, so when we heard of the Maheerah Programme, we knew it was something we needed to support. The communications industry is going through an exciting transformation within the Kingdom, and we are committed to progressing the careers of women within the field.”Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity is Saudi Arabia’s largest celebration of creativity, culture, talent, and innovation to date. Across four days, two content stages, a diverse range of training programs, an industry award event, and much more, the festival will serve as a platform for all those with an interest in joining an exciting new community of creative industry leaders from Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Publicis Groupe ME sponsors MeasureCamp’s debut in Dubai

Publicis Groupe Middle East, a global leader in marketing, communication, and digital transformation, has sponsored MeasureCamp Dubai, the digital analytics' unconference' for and by the digital analytics community.The sponsorship reinforces Groupe's commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration within the digital and tech domain.Inspired by the success of BarCamps and the global MeasureCamp community, the inaugural MeasureCamp Dubai saw many industry professionals, beginners, and enthusiasts gather to share ideas, knowledge, and insights in an informal and interactive setting.Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe Middle East & Turkey shared, “"We recognise the pivotal role digital analytics plays in the future of businesses, which is why events like MeasureCamp Dubai hold immense importance.”Commenting on the Groupe's partnership, Rajesh Verma, Business Director of Epsilon and one of the committee members of MeasureCamp Dubai, said, “At Epsilon we believe that technology and data-driven solutions can transform the future of marketing and customer experience, and MeasureCamp is a great place to discover what’s next for digital analytics and measurement. Having Publicis Groupe ME as a sponsor elevates MeasureCamp Dubai to new heights.”Publicis Groupe has significantly accelerated its foray into providing real identity and data-driven solutions through Epsilon and continues to actively partner and collaborate to converge upon new insights and diverse perspectives in the field. Originating in London in 2012, MeasureCamp has swiftly evolved into a global phenomenon, with over 20 local editions annually. These 'unconferences' defy conventional passive conferences, fostering lively discussions and idea exchanges. From a modest 130 attendees at its inception, MeasureCamp now spans 24 cities worldwide.

Leo Burnett Middle East tops the Global Effies Index 2022

Dubai: Leo Burnett Middle East has secured the coveted title of Most Effective Agency Office in the world in the 2022 Effie Index, a global ranking of the most effective agencies, marketers and brands. Announced annually, the 2022 Effies Index analysed more than 4,300 winner and finalist entries from Effie Awards competitions across the globe, with Leo Burnett, led by the Dubai office outperforming all regional and global agencies to claim the #1 ranking.Bassel Kakish, CEO of Publicis Groupe ME&T said, “The Middle East has been fast emerging as a powerhouse of creative effectiveness, and we’ve just solidified this to the world. To be ranked #1 is a worthy milestone, but the honour of being able to showcase the calibre of our talent in the global spotlight is immeasurable. This is a shared moment of pride for Publicis Groupe, our trusted clients, and our exceptional talents who continue to raise the bar for the industry.”Adding to this Tahaab Rais, Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis Groupe ME&T said, “Effectiveness is a business imperative for us and a duty towards the brands we partner with. Emerging on top of the Global Effie Index as an agency, as a network and as a holding company from out of the MENA region – a first for Publicis Groupe agencies globally too - is a testament to the efforts over the past one year by our people, our partners, and our clients, collectively. This goes out to all of them. We’ve outcared, outworked and outlasted - not just regionally but also globally, setting another benchmark for our region on the global stage.”Leo Burnett Middle East’s global ranking comes after a strong showing at the MENA Effies last November, where they clinched the night’s top honours with ‘Most Effective Agency Office’ and ‘Most Effective Agency Network’. An impressive number of Effies wins for brand campaigns with brands such as ABAAD, Emirates NBD, Home Box, IKEA, Lebanese Transparency Association, McDonald’s GCC, Project Chaiwala, Samsung, and UN Women, solidified their leading position."There's a beautiful thing about the Effies. They've never been about effectiveness alone. It's a creative effectiveness award. At Leo Burnett, we are our clients' business partners, with our most creative ideas helping solve their business challenges. This accolade is a testament to the in-tandem efforts of our teams and clients over the past year, in the relentless pursuit of creativity that delivers results,” said Kalpesh Patankar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Dubai.The Effies Index is considered to be one of the most authoritative rankings of marketing effectiveness. This is the first time an agency under Publicis Groupe globally has claimed a #1 spot on the Effies Index.“No company appears on the Effie Index by chance. To be ranked in the Index demonstrates a relentless commitment to delivering ideas that work, all underpinned by a culture of effectiveness,” said Traci Alford, Global CEO, Effie Worldwide. “On behalf of the entire Effie organisation, congratulations on this well-earned recognition.”