French independent opens Dubai office

Paris-based independent digital agency Buzzman is expanding into the Middle East.

The agency is opening an office in Dubai Media City – its first outside of France – with the staff count already at five and expected to reach 10 by the end of February as recruitment continues. It will offer marketing solutions to clients in digital, mobile and social media.

Georges Mohammed-Cherif, the agency’s CEO and creative director, will lead the Dubai team, while Adil Zghaoui, former marketing manager at Reckitt Benckiser in the emirate, will head up the agency’s development. Both have a “bi-cultural approach to the industry that will allow for better understanding of the region’s consumer’s insights and mindsets”.

Zghaoui, who takes the title of executive manager of Buzzman Middle East, said: “We will be working as one with the headquarters [in Paris]. On all our projects, we will have teams consisting of both Paris and Dubai-based people to foster creativity and keep delivering ground-breaking campaigns.”

Mohammed-Cherif added: “Buzzman Paris generates 30 per cent of its revenue from international accounts and the fast-growing digital market in the Middle East naturally leads, ahead of many regions, to the opening of an office within the region. ”

Buzzman is probably best known in this part of the world for its work with Durex, including ‘Digital Love’, which won gold at last year’s MENA Cristals and a silver at the Dubai Lynx. Further collaborations with other international brands in the region are expected to be announced soon.

Both Zghaoui and Mohammed-Cherif are currently in Dubai, along with Thomas Granger, general manager of the Paris operation. Mohammed-Cherif and Granger will flit between both offices on a regular basis. “There is no agency like ours here,” said Mohammed-Cherif. “We think there is a lack of real advertising in digital, so that is one of the reasons why we have opened in Dubai.”

The agency was launched in 2006 and was named ‘Best international small agency’ by Advertising Age in 2011. Its roaster of clients includes Unilever, Kraft Food, Microsoft, Nokia, Google and MTV.