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.

MSL Middle East appoints MacLean Brodie as their new CEO

Dubai: Publicis Groupe Middle East has appointed MacLean Brodie as Chief Executive Officer of MSL Middle East, a strategic communications agency.In his new role, MacLean will be responsible for overseeing client business and driving growth for MSL Middle East. Drawing upon the Groupe’s ‘Power of One’ strength, he will focus on harnessing talent, fuelling creativity, and strengthening MSL’s presence and earned media capabilities in regional key growth markets."We are delighted to welcome MacLean onboard; he brings a wealth of public and private experience that will provide MSL with invaluable insights and solutions. His deep understanding of the regional media ecosystem combined with his advocacy experience and strong communications skills will be a tremendous value add to clients and our capabilities”, said Bassel Kakish, CEO, Publicis Groupe ME&T.MacLean's career in communications has spanned more than 15 years, with senior roles in Asia and the Middle East. A long-time advisor in strategic communications, he will be joining MSL from his current role as Head of Public Affairs at the Qatar Foundation. Formerly, he led the Corporate and Public Affairs work for Ogilvy across the MENA region and managed a substantial public relations practice for Ogilvy Qatar, overseeing clients such as Qatar Tourism Authority, beIN Media Group, the Ministry of Transport and Communication (TASMU Qatar), Hamad International Airport, Sasol, and Doha Forum.Margaret Key, CEO of MSL APAC/MEA said, “We are excited to welcome MacLean to the MSL family to lead and strengthen MSL’s capabilities in a key region. As the PR industry continues evolving, MSL has developed an exceptional approach to servicing an array of clients that looks at integrated work across digital, PR, creative, socials and analytics. I look forward to working closely with MacLean to further expand MSL’s growth in Middle East.”For more than ten years prior, MacLean was based in China, where he anchored Ogilvy China's Public and Government Affairs practice and built a strong reputation in communications strategy, campaign planning, crisis management, state/location branding, and market entry programmes. During his time in China, he worked closely with Emirates Airlines to promote their aviation and aero-political affairs agenda and was instrumental in launching Dubai Week in China. Further client roles include experience in health innovation with J&J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, mining with Teck Resources and Rio Tinto, destination branding with the city of Chengdu, and development work with the World Bank in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.Commenting on his appointment, MacLean said, "It's an incredible moment to be joining MSL and the Publicis Groupe. The ambition and growth of the region are matched by a leadership team making transformational moves in digital, creative, and analytics that are changing how we work and enhancing the power of earned media to generate influence and make a bottom-line business impact. I am excited to be a part of MSL and harness this growth for our clients and our team!”.