Zain calls media review

Mobile telecommunications provider Zain has called a review of its media planning and buying account.

A number of international agency networks with a regional presence have been invited to pitch, including incumbent Mindshare, which has held the regional account since 2009 and for Kuwait and Bahrain since 2002 and 2003. Zain is one of the biggest ad spenders in the region and is headquartered in Kuwait.

A Zain spokesperson confirmed the review was taking place, stating that: “As one of the largest media buying en-tities in the region, Zain is always seeking optimal efficiencies in this area of the business. Accordingly, in keeping with good corporate practice and following the advancements in the media and digital landscape, we have decided to review our existing media planning and buying agency arrangements.

“This move comes nearly four years after the last review and we have invited other global international agency networks with a regional presence to also make representations. We hope to conclude such by the first half of 2014 and, once completed, will be applicable to most of Zain’s operating companies across the region.”

“As part of our non-equity Vodafone Partner Agreement, we are collaborating with Vodafone in this process,” added the spokesperson.

Zain operates in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan. It also operates in Lebanon as touch (under a management contract). The review does not affect the company’s creative or PR agency partners.

Zain was launched in 1983 in Kuwait as the Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC). It rebranded as Zain in 2007 and by 2008 was the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of geographical presence, with operations in 15 African countries and seven in the Middle East. However, in 2010 it sold its African operations, deciding to concentrate on the MENA region.