Two former employees of Rufus Leonard have launched their own design and communications company following the closure of Rufus Leonard’s Middle East operation.
The London-headquartered brand and digital agency has moved its Middle East business back to the UK, having been in the region since 2008. The agency would not go into details regarding the closure, although Will Rowe, Rufus Leonard’s managing director, stated that: “We have decided to consolidate our Middle Eastern operations back into the UK as part of our plans to deliver further efficiencies across our business.”
Rufus Leonard’s regional office had been based in Dubai Media City, with the operation delivering brand, advertising and marketing communications services for key clients in markets such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Its clients in the region had included Lloyds TSB and Aldar.
Following the closure, Liza Medd, the agency’s regional manager for the Middle East, and Nick Street, head of creative, have co-founded Fred, an agency specialising in corporate marketing and branding. The pair, who both cut their teeth with leading agencies in the UK, said the essence of the new outfit was simple – “Big on talent, not on overheads. Experienced enough to work with the big boys. Small enough to be flexible”. Medd added: “We recognised the need for an agency that fulfils briefs, as well as CMO’s balance sheets. Especially in the current economic climate, where every last dirham is scrutinised and exhausted to achieve maximum potential. Not that we are positioning Fred as a bargain basement proposition, nor are we just
another retained agency. We consider ourselves rather as an invaluable extension of our clients’ team.”
It is understood that Fred will have a virtual office, as Medd explains. “For client meetings, we come to you. After all why should our flashy office be paid for out of your quarterly budget? You pay for our ideas and brand experience, nothing else”.