MENA to be last holdout for Optimedia as global rebrand turns it into Blue 449

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At a global level, Publicis Media has announced that its Blue 449 Optimedia agency will become Blue 449.

However, in the region, where media agencies Optimedia and Blue 449 had not yet merged, there is unlikely to be any immediate effect.

Globally, Publicis Groupe has four media shops: Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest Spark and Blue 449 Optimedia, which sit under Publicis Media, one of four operating units formed when the Groupe restructured in March of this year.

However in the Middle East, during the restructure, Optimedia remained part of sister operating unit Publicis Communications. Publicis Communications contains creative shops Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Middle East and Leo Burnett.

Campaign understands it will continue to function and handle existing clients.

Under managing director Tony Wazen it answers in to Publicis Communications CEO Raja Trad, while Blue 449 is currently without an MD and is being run by Publicis Media’s management, including chairman Alex Saber and CEO Steve Parker.

“Optimedia was pretty much seen as a conflict shop,” Andras Vigh global brand president of Blue 449, said, explaining the rebranding.

Blue 449 began life as independent UK media agency Walker Media, which M&C Saatchi sold to Publicis Groupe in 2013. Vigh would not comment on whether Publicis Media planned to buy the remaining 25 per cent of Blue 449 in the UK that M&C Saatchi still holds. Publicis Groupe owns all of Blue 449’s offices outside the UK, and Vigh said the brand itself is “owned by Publicis Media, not M&C Saatchi”.

Read more at Campaign UK here.

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