New beginnings for Publicis Graphics

Advertising network Publicis Graphics is in the process of moving to new offices in Dubai Media City following the completion of its buyout by Publicis Worldwide.

The network is now called Publicis Middle East and is being overseen by Raja Trad, CEO of Leo Burnett Group of Companies MENA, with the move to Media City expected to be completed by the middle of February. Both Leo Burnett and Publicis Middle East are part of Paris-based Publicis Groupe.

Publicis Worldwide, which ranks among the largest marketing communications companies globally, now owns 100 per cent of the local network, which had been headquartered in Deira and was founded by Mustapha Assad in 1973. Assad has sold his remaining shares in the network, with the transition to full ownership by Publicis
beginning last year.

“There will still be two agencies – Publicis and Leo Burnett,” said Trad. “The only common thing between the two is that I’m overlooking both of them now as CEO. For the time being there will be no changes to staffing at Publicis [Middle East]. The operation will remain intact, with the same managing director and the same team.”

He adds: “It’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to it. It’s an agency with potential and we’re going to work hard in order to bring it back to where it should be. Bechara [Mouzannar], in his capacity as chief creative officer at Leo Burnett, will be helping me to overlook the two brands, but they remain independent and separate with their own creative teams and management teams. The one thing that is common to both is Bechara and me, and definitely a company like Flip Media will be available to all the operating units within Publicis.”

For the time being there will be one CEO for both agencies, but this may change going forward, said Trad.

Publicis had originally purchased 60 per cent of Publicis Graphics in 1999, then called Publi-Graphics.

the authorCampaign Staff
Campaign ME is the Middle East edition of the UK’s leading magazine for the advertising and media industry.