Leo Burnett’s Raja Trad takes on new Publicis role


Raja Trad has been named chief executive of Publicis Communications Middle East as Publicis Groupe rolls out the wide-ranging restructuring announced globally late last year.

Trad, formerly chief executive of Leo Burnett Group MENA, is now in charge of all of Publicis Groupe’s brand advertising agencies in the region – Leo

Burnett, Publicis Middle East and Saatchi & Saatchi. Also falling under the Publicis Communications Middle East banner are MSL Group, Arc and Optimedia.

The move follows the decision last year to break down Publicis Groupe’s disciplines into four ‘solutions hubs’. Alongside Publicis Communications sits Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient and Publicis Healthcare.

Publicis Communications is being led globally by Publicis Worldwide CEO Arthur Sadoun. The performance of the company’s businesses will be judged on client service, with each client led by a chief client officer who will be responsible for all the group’s services and skills, no matter the discipline or country.

“The brand agencies that are active in the region – Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis and Leo Burnett – are now under one management,” said Trad. “I’m keeping Saatchi where they are, I’m keeping Publicis where they are, but there will be a lot of interaction. We will keep the culture, keep the brand image, keep the personality of each agency, but whenever we can do some-thing that will be common to all three, that is what we will do… There are a lot of things that can be done that will be for the good of the group and for the good of the client.”

He added: “The objective is not to bring them all under one roof but, on the contrary, to keep on protecting what they stand for in terms of values, in terms of culture and in terms of identity.”

The senior management team will consist of Trad, chief creative officer Bechara Mouzannar, and a chief financial officer.

Meanwhile, Publicis Media is moving from six global agency brands – Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest, Spark, Optimedia and Blue 449 – to four.

Those being Starcom, Zenith,Mediavest | Spark and Optimedia | Blue 449.