TracyLocke to enter the Middle East

US-based shopper marketing agency TracyLocke is to launch in the Middle East.

The decision marks the agency’s first foray outside the US, with TracyLocke Dubai to be the first outpost in the region. Further operations in Saudi Arabia are in the pipeline.

Part of the DDB Communications Group, TracyLocke will operate as an independent unit within DDB’s offices in Dubai. Both DDB and TracyLocke are part of the Omnicom Group. It is understood that TracyLocke Dubai will run as a franchise, with an initial staff count of six.

Ron Askew, chairman of TracyLocke, said: “DDB’s local market knowledge and retailer knowledge, combined with our intellectual property, coaching, tools and processes makes a lot of sense in the marketplace. This has been fed by some of our clients, who have expressed an interest in us having a capability here in the Middle East, and by some of DDB’s regional clients, who have talked about a similar solution.”

TracyLocke Dubai will offer shopper marketing, retail marketing and promotions, with the office owned by DDB.

TracyLocke is among the top three shopper marketing agencies in North America, with a client list that includes PepsiCo, Pizza Hut, Nokia, Clorox and HP. The agency’s wider brand-to-retail capabilities include retail advertising, promotional experiences, digital, media planning and buying, sports marketing and graphic design. Its HQ is in Dallas, Texas.

Babu Subramaniam, managing director of DDB, said the regional offices had offered shopper marketing for the past four years. “We’re not starting from scratch,” said Subramaniam. “We’ve got quality people who understand shopping marketing. What we are looking at is enhancing that offering. It’s about making everything we offer better at every stage.”