Pfizer shakes up creative duties, moves global account to Publicis

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced the transfer of its global creative duties from Interpublic Group's FCB and IPG Health to Publicis, merely 10 months after consolidating its business with the two holding companies.While IPG retains Pfizer's PR account, including firms like Weber Shandwick and Golin under the Dxtra Health umbrella, Publicis will now take on the mantle of Pfizer's creative endeavors. Pfizer confirmed that this shift aims to fully integrate creative services into the existing Publicis structure, which already encompasses data, media, and production."A flexible, two-agency partnership" is how Pfizer described its arrangement with Publicis and IPG, emphasizing their respective roles in driving cutting-edge, data-driven integrated marketing communications centered around Pfizer's scientific innovations and breakthroughs.This move marks a significant evolution in Pfizer's marketing strategy. Last May, IPG was entrusted with global creative responsibilities, while Publicis Groupe was tasked with media planning and buying duties. The account, valued at a staggering $1.41 billion.Previously, Pfizer collaborated with various agencies globally, including Dentsu's Carat and iProspect for media, and WPP's bespoke unit Team Pfizer for creative endeavors. The decision to review these accounts was prompted by Pfizer's appointment of a new global CMO, Drew Panayiotou, in August 2022.Publicis has already been involved in creative production for Pfizer, notably spearheading the brand's Super Bowl commercial this year through Publicis Conseil and LeTruc/Publicis NY.Despite increased advertising expenses, reaching $3.7 billion in 2023 from $2.8 billion in 2022 according to the company's annual 10-K SEC report, Pfizer reported its lowest annual revenue since 2020. Revenue dipped by 41% to $58.5 billion in 2023, down from a record $100.3 billion the previous year.Pfizer's decision to shake up its creative agency lineup comes amid challenging market conditions and underscores its commitment to adapt its marketing strategies to navigate evolving landscapes.

MCN and its agencies across the region achieve Great Place to Work certification

MCN (Middle East Communications Network), along with all its agencies in the UAE, Qatar, and Egypt, proudly announce its continued recognition as a Great Place to Work® for the year 2024. This prestigious certification, awarded by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) organization, reaffirms MCN's commitment to fostering a positive and thriving workplace environment, marking a new standard for excellence in the industry.The extensive analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Middle East, based on direct feedback from employees through an anonymous survey, highlights MCN's dedication to providing an outstanding working experience. This distinction is a collective achievement of the entire MCN community, which includes the following agencies: FP7McCann, Momentum, McCann Health, MRM, Mullenlowe, UM, Magna, KINESSO, Initiative, Weber Shandwick, Jack Morton, Commonwealth//McCann. MCN's success in achieving the Great Place to Work certification solidifies its position as a leader in employee satisfaction and as an employer of choice."We are incredibly proud of this unprecedented collective achievement in the UAE, Egypt and Qatar. This recognition is truly special; it resonates with the voices, votes, and sentiments of our exceptional teams. It is a testament to the passion and unity of our MCN family and the love people have for each other and for working together." Said Ricarda Ruecker, Chief Talent Officer, MCN.MCN looks forward to continuing its journey of fostering an exceptional workplace culture and is committed to annually renew the Great Place to Work certification and expand it to additional countries.

Weber Shandwick on leveraging AI, enhancing visibility, and influencer collab

As part of our continuous effort to spotlight perspectives from prominent PR firms in the Middle East regarding their outlook and forecast for the year 2024, Adgully brings you an exclusive interview with Weber Shandwick UAE. Head of Digital, David Willett, and Manager of Media & Influencer Relations, Ola Zaidan, share their insights on the evolving roles of social media and marketing influencers in the contemporary era. Excerpts: With the growing importance of digital channels and social media, how is your PR agency planning to leverage new communication technologies and platforms by 2024?As a global agency, we’ve already invested in a number of generative AI tools to support and elevate content creation. A great example is our campaign for Ewaa which deployed AI to proactively and visually reach potential victims of human trafficking. For us, the tools have played a big role in both strategic ideation and producing media assets for campaigns in a smarter and more efficient manner. We’re looking to expand our understanding and usage of the tools across the agency, even beyond the specialist digital and creative departments as they can help us articulate our comms strategies and campaigns more efficiently. What strategies are in place to enhance client visibility and reputation management in the evolving digital landscape of 2024?We’ve seen over the course of the past year and with the continued rise of social media platforms, that the nature of social creative has changed – personality has never been more critical in brand content. For us, this means leveraging the power of strategists and creators and looking at longer term partnerships to engage social audiences. FMCG brands are, of course, slightly further ahead on the curve to this end, but more corporate channels are growing wiser to the power of personality – try Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola on TikTok for instance. With the rise of influencer marketing, how is your PR agency incorporating influencer partnerships into your communication strategies by 2024?When it comes to considering influencer marketing as part of a comms strategy, and developing influencer campaigns, our approach involves a thorough analysis of a client's goals and KPIs, allowing us to define the metrics of success. Through strategic insights and planning, we identify the target audience, and then map these with suitable influencers whose profiles resonate with the brand persona, and would have the best chance to succeed at delivering the performance we’re aiming to achieve. Additionally, we leverage technology tools for social listening, influencer profiling, and vetting to ensure a successful influencer selection that can benefit the brand, the campaign, and the audience.What metrics do you prioritize to measure the impact of influencer collaborations on brand perception and audience engagement in 2024?It really depends on the goal of the collaboration. The aim might be wider reach and general awareness, or building deeper connections through specific engagements. We rely on a comprehensive set of metrics to measure the desired impact of influencer collaborations, in line with the goals we are focused on achieving. Metrics like reach, engagement rate, sentiment analysis, and conversion, can indicate a campaign's effectiveness, whether it was to enhance brand perception, to create meaningful interactions with a specific audience, or to deliver a call to action.

Weber Shandwick promotes Ghaleb Zeidan to Regional MD

Dubai: Weber Shandwick MENAT has announced the promotion of Ghaleb Zeidan to Regional Managing Director for UAE, Culture, Learning & Development, and Partnership. For the past five years Zeidan has ably helmed the agency’s UAE operations, overseeing both offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and recording outstanding growth on multiple levels over the past two years.“Ghaleb has demonstrated impressive ability and passion in the decade or more I’ve known him. This is a well-deserved next step in which I know he will thrive by collaborating closely with the regional office leads and teams to grow the strength of our culture, the effectiveness of our learning, and the value of our partnerships,” said Ziad Hasbani, Regional CEO of Weber Shandwick MENAT.In addition to his existing remit in the UAE, Ghaleb will take on wider regional responsibilities focused on three key areas for all Weber Shandwick offices in the Middle East. This includes the continued development of agency culture, successfully harnessing the skills and knowledge within and beyond the network to amplify this through effective training, and to explore strategic collaborations that can drive two-way value. “As Regional MD, I am excited to take Weber Shandwick MENAT’s progress to the next level. I am grateful for the exceptional support of incredible teams that were instrumental in our agency reaching many new milestones. Together, we've built something exceptional, and I'm excited about the path ahead,” said Ghaleb Zeidan.In the past year, Weber Shandwick UAE was officially certified as a Great Place to Work® UAE after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Middle East. Beyond the UAE, Weber Shandwick MENAT has large operations in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Türkiye, as well as a presence in Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.