Intermarkets forms partnership with VML

Ad agency Intermarkets has joined forces with US-based digital marketing agency VML.

The partnership means that Intermarkets is now known as Intermarkets|VML, with the move representing VML’s first venture in the Middle East. Both agencies are part of WPP.

Georges Maalouf, CEO at Intermarkets|VML, said the new entity would have full access to all of VML’s offices and teams beyond the region, with Intermarkets’ offline capabilities complementing VML’s online and digital offering.

The announcement follows speculation in the market that Intermarkets was closing down a number of its offices – speculation that Maalouf acknowledged. “We heard many stories about ourselves and other agencies but you’ll only get the right perspective through the ones that are actually involved. It may have taken a bit longer than we anticipated, but we’ve been working very hard in the past few months to come up with the right offering in line with global standards to meet brands’ communication challenges in the region.”

He added: “VML has some of the world’s leading tools for understanding, tracking and connecting with consumers, which have already been integrated into the Middle East operation. Matched with our own wealth of proprietary tools, we believe we can offer the market today a unique and different product altogether,” said Maalouf.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Kansas, VML is ranked by Advertising Age as one of the top digital marketing agencies in the US. Intermarkets, which also has offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Beirut, Jordan, Jeddah and Riyadh, is part of Menacom, which includes Y&R, Wunderman, Asda’a Burson-Marsteller and MEC in its stable of companies. Menacom is 60 per cent owned by WPP.