Initiative drops PR agency as it moves duties in-house

Initiative MENA has ended its relationship with the public relations house Cicero & Bernay as it moves its operations in-house.

PR duties will now be handled by the agency’s own marketing division,  overseen by marketing and communication manager Hala Alayli, while an internal PR team has been appointed.

Campaign understands that the agencies were not bound by contract, but that C&B was drafted in to support Initiative with PR on an occasion-by-occasion basis.

The shift comes during an uncertain period for Initiative as one of the agency’s major accounts, Kuwait Food Co, also known as Americana, held a pitch at the end of last year.

The conglomerate, which owns the lucrative Middle East franchises for fast food chains KFC, Krispy Kreme and Pizza Hut, has yet to officially announce the winners.

Both Initiative and C&B were contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, C&B has announced it has signed an addiliation with Miya PR & SM in Turkey this week.

The agreement is the latest move as the Publinet-owned company expands its reach across the region, venturing into Saudi Arabia, Iraq
and Jordan.

Cicero & Bernay’s chief operating officer, Ahmad Itani, said: “Miya PR  & SM and C&B complement each other, with both agencies delivering a ­similar approach to client servicing and communication planning and delivery.

“We are delighted to have found a partner who can work together with us in providing communication solutions that are flexible to work across the diversity of the region.”

Founder of Miya PR & SM, Burcu Meriç Durak, added: “This partnership empowers both of our agencies to provide high-quality communication campaigns in a key market at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and we are delighted to offer our clients enhanced PR capability.”