It is that time of the year again when Arabian Marketer seeks industry votes to crown one industry captain as the AM Person of the Year, a marketing or advertising leader who not only steered her or his company ably in a tough year but made an industry wide impact.
To reach this shortlist, AM had invited nominations from people on who they think should win the title this year. In the past month, more than 600 professionals, from over 150 companies from the media, marketing and advertising fraternity send in their nominations. After collating the nominations, there are nine industry leaders who form part of the shortlist this year.
The voting for AM Person of the Year will begin on December 14, 2017 and conclude on January 11, 2018. Industry professionals can choose their favorite candidate, and the votes tally will form 50 percent of the weightage in deciding the final winner. This year, there will also be a jury process, the decision from which will account for the remainder 50 percent.
The AM Person of the Year will be announced in the first week of February 2018.
The nominees, as chosen by the industry, for the second edition of AM Person of the Year are as follows: (in alphabetical order by first name)
Executive Vice President, Brand & Corporate Communications, du
A brand that is known for many firsts in 2017, whether it was launching its own ecommerce platform or partnering with Souq.com or launching a chatbot, all with the consumer in mind, du has been among the most active marketers in the region. The brand has also led in award wins across platforms such as Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity, Festival of Media and the likes reiterating the quality of the work that it has accomplished. Under Mr Juma’s leadership, du has integrated technology and new age thinking in the very fabric of its marketing and communication to better connect with consumers.
Very few regional leaders have continued to thrive and make a global mark on an industry that is otherwise the playground of multinationals. Middle East Communication Network (MCN) is among the holding companies that embraced global while retaining its position of being the voice of the region. Akram Miknas, the Chairman of the company is one of the founding fathers of the industry. While he stepped down from direct management into the Chairman role in 2003, the ethos with which he set up and run the business continues to hold it in good stead.
In 2017, MCN agencies such as FP7, UM, Initiative, Mullenlowe among others have seen a steady inflow of new accounts and work applauded at both global and regional stages. The year also saw the agencies pay attention to their people, offering leadership roles and expanding mandates from within.
Director Media, Unilever MENA
Perhaps among the most popular marketers in the region, Asad Rehman has contributed significantly towards Unilever setting examples for the region in addressing some of the most burning issues. These ranged from the concerns seen in digital marketing to the challenges in implementing VAT. Unilever MENA has stayed in the forefront of embracing newer forms of connecting with consumers, keeping an eye on the likes of viewability, brand safety and enabling relevant content. Mr Rehman has also actively contributed towards enabling dialogue in the industry through his role as the Chairman of The Marketing Society, and his active participation in other industry bodies such as the IAA or industry events.
Chairman & CEO, BBDO MEA & Impact BBDO MENA & Pakistan
The most awarded agency in the year, Impact BBDO has continually scaled new heights under the leadership of Dani Richa, winning several ‘Agency of the Year’ titles while also growing the several businesses that are part of the BBDO Group in MENA. Mr Richa’s philosophy of putting the work first, in line with the global BBDO culture, has fostered an agency that puts the marketer first. As a result, despite a tough year, Impact BBDO has stayed ahead of many of its competitors.
CEO, Omnicom Media Group MENA
One of the most dynamic leaders in the region, Elie Khouri leads a team that has been on top of its game. From the oldest OMD that was crowned Agency of the Year at Dubai Lynx 2017 to the thought leadership seen in the work from PHD to the youngest Hearts & Science that added several new businesses to its roster in the year, Omnicom Media Group has had a better than expected 2017 in the Middle East & North Africa region. Omnicom Media Group’s initiatives such as partnerships in furthering digital in MENA or launching Omniwomen UAE chapter are some of the steps that have made an impact beyond the company. This year Omnicom Media Group MENA, along with its agencies, was also named the runner-up best employer in the UAE by the Great Place to Work Institute. It was the marketing holding group’s highest-ever ranking in the list and the fourth time in a row that it appeared in the top five. This consistent performance led Mr Khouri to receive the inaugural ‘Leader of the Year’ award from the Institute.
Head of Marketing & PR – Infiniti Middle East
Francesca Ciaudano is responsible for spearheading the development of the marketing & PR function in the region and key contributor for launching and developing the INFINITI brand in the Middle East. Reporting directly to the Managing Director, she oversees and manages high profile projects including new product launches, introduction and launch of new markets, brand strategy, major-event management such as the F1 activations and Motor Shows. Under her guidance, INFINITI has claimed a number of awards at festivals like the Effie MENA, Festival of Media MENA and Global Cristal Awards. INFINITI continued to be among the most engaging marketers in the year including a strong showing at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show.
Director, WPP MENA
It was one of the busier years for Roy Haddad as WPP agencies such as GroupM or Ogilvy continued to undergo transition in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region in sync with global changes. The consumer insights group from the holding company and the creative agency brands also saw some positive numbers in the year. Changes in markets such as Saudi Arabia especially saw Mr Haddad contributing towards changes that will impact the industry on the whole. In 2017, Mr Haddad reiterated his position as one of the most influential leaders in the MENA region.
EVP, Group Marketing and Customer Experience, Emirates NBD
Emirates NBD has been among the top brands counted in the region’s ‘brave’ marketers that have never shied from taking risks and pushing the envelope. The approach saw it being awarded Marketer of the Year at Dubai Lynx a year ago, and win at other regional and global platforms in the year. The company continued to revolutionize the way in which it interacted and served its customers using newer forms of technology to offer more personalized experiences. While on the one hand Emirates NBD work created buzz, on the other hand, Mr Krishna’s guidance continued to up the customer experience throughout the year. In all this, a key philosophy for the bank has been forging and respecting the right partnerships, allowing to create a wider industry impact.
Voting begins from December 14, 2017 and will conclude on January 11, 2018.
To vote for your person of the year, email email@example.com or follow our online poll on Arabian Marketer Facebook page.