SapientNitro’s Dubai future thrown into doubt

The future of SapientNitro’s regional operation has been thrown into the doubt following FMCG giant Mars’ re-alignment of its global agency roster.

The Dubai office of SapientNitro was set up in April last year to handle Mars’ Dove Galaxy account, but BBDO Worldwide and DDB Worldwide have taken over the business previously handled by TBWA and SapientNitro.

The roster re-alignment is effective from September and means that the agency is now without a single client in the Middle East, leading to uncertainty and speculation of its future operations in the region.

It is understood that an aggressive business development strategy is now in place at the agency, and it is believed to be participating in unspecified account pitches.

Sapient started as an IT consultancy in the US in 1991 and in June last year acquired ad agency Nitro for $50 million, leading to Nitro’s rebranding as SapientNitro. Nitro is best known as the agency behind Tourism Queensland’s ‘Best job in the world’ campaign, which won two grands prix at Cannes. The campaign, which saw a competition to decide who would win the caretakership of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, was the work of Nitro’s Australian shop, Cummins Nitro.