Voting For AM Person Of The Year Begins; Nine In The Shortlist

The second phase for choosing AM Person of the Year kicks off today. In the first year, more than 500 media, advertising and marketing professionals, from over 150 companies, have sent nominations for who they believe should be crowned AM Person of the Year.

AM Person of the Year, an Arabian Marketer initiative, recognizes one industry captain from the marketing and advertising domain, who has made the most impact on her or his business, and on the industry at large.

The voting will go on for a period of 12 days. Following this, the most voted industry Chief will be named AM Person of the Year. AM Editorial team will follow a tie-breaker protocol if required, once the final voting is completed.

Leading the nominations are (in alphabetical order by first name):


alex-saber#1. ALEX SABER
Chairman, Publicis Media Middle East
For managing the merging of Publicis media agencies and specialist divisions to form Publicis Media Middle East following the global restructuring; for retaining some of the top agency leaders and agency clients during the transition phase; for launching new practices such as sports and entertainment marketing in the year; for the participation seen from the region for the global initiative Publicis90 and for Publicis Middle East’s participation in regional and global industry initiatives –– Alex Saber’s nomination signifies the continued action at Publicis Media in the year.

elie-khouri#2. ELIE KHOURI
CEO, Omnicom Media Group MENA
One of the highest numbers of nominations for the leader has come in for the unrelenting growth of Omnicom Media Group companies OMD, PHD and digital businesses in the region. The media holding company has remained the only marketing communications company in the top five of Great Place To Work, since the study’s inception six years ago – featuring on the third position in 2016. Later in the year, Omnicom Media Group took another step to assist its employees when it doubled the maternity leave entitlement. Mr Khouri’s leadership saw further strengthening of OMD and PHD leadership teams in the region, and of leadership in different markets. The media holding company also launched a third global agency brand –– Hearts & Science in MENA, making this the second region for the New York-born, data-driven agency. Omnicom Media Group played host to three industry events inviting global and regional domain leaders to Dubai to deliberate on growth drivers of the future.

hala-badri#3. HALA BADRI
Executive Vice President of Brand & Communication, du
Under Hala Badri, du has been one of the most dynamic and award winning marketers in the region across regional and global stages. du’s marketing has not only stayed with the times in the way it has invested in digital platforms but has also sought ways to be part of popular conversations and play a role in communicating more than just marketing messages to its people – whether it has been around using social media platforms cautiously or marketing in targeted ways to specific audiences. du stayed in the news the entire year for its series of collaborations and new initiatives to assist its consumers and its employees. Ms Badri is among the few industry leaders who have been continuously active in contributing to the industry. She contributes to five boards – Dubai Cares Foundation for education, Indemaj for inclusion and better learning, Dubai Media Incorporated, Dubai Properties Group and Dubai Women Establishment, where she is Vice Chair of the Board. She has recently been certified in corporate governance by INSEAD as well.

jonathan-labin#4. JONATHAN LABIN
‎Managing Director, MENA & Pakistan, Facebook
Without doubt, Facebook is among the very few digital platforms that have invested in growing and developing digital as a medium in the MENA region. Facebook has been forward looking in its offers in terms of mobile, videos, ad formats and the potential of marketplace in the region. It has actively worked with developers, startups and small and medium sized businesses, government bodies, and other institutions to become a partner for the industry in driving business objectives and achieving growth. Facebook has contributed in turning mobile, videos and messaging as viable communication and advertising options for marketers of all scale and size. Jonathan Labin has ensured a consistent growth for the platform in the region and in translating the global relevance that Facebook has for people and marketers to MENA too.

michael-nederlof#5. MICHAEL NEDERLOF
‎CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network MENA
He is among the rare leaders who can drive passion without exerting pressure. Dentsu Aegis Network has had a busy and a successful year in the region, steered by the leadership of Michael Nederlof. The holding company was among the few that continued with an acquisition strategy adding names such as gyro and Digital Republic to its overall offer in MENA. The agency invested in articulating the significance of digital for the region, and the role that a digital economy will play in growing the industry at large in the year ahead. The agency had begun 2016 with launch of Interprise, retained some of its key businesses and contributed to the growth of the industry through the year.

raja-trad#6. RAJA TRAD
CEO, Publicis Communications Middle East
A legend in his own right, Raja Trad was also among the global Publicis leaders that were dealing with challenges coming in the wake of a large scale restructure. In addition to managing leadership teams, client expectations and even redundancies as part of the transition process, Mr Trad invested in launching production platform Prodigious, digital capability Sapient Inside and startup incubator Publicis Innovation Hub among others, that not only expanded the agency’s offer but also created business and new opportunities for people in the industry.

roy-haddad#7. ROY HADDAD
Director, WPP MENA
Roy Haddad is among a handful few who hold the position of country chairs, in his case, regional chair, representing the complete plethora of WPP brands. By its very nature of business and the scale that it operates in, WPP has been the busiest Holding Company in MENA in the year. While still establishing GroupM, WPP also launched new business units in the year such as client focussed unit Red Fuse for Colgate and OOH specialist Kinetic. It is one of the first companies to strike deals and partnerships in Iran with the likes of PPG and Rahbar Bazaar Market Research Institute. WPP agencies acquired stake in Wanda Digital in Turkey and undertook numerous initiatives such as J. Walter Thompson’s Google All Stars Academy or the JWT HLR Scholarship awarded to Rawan Obaid from UAE or the rebranding of Kantar and enhancing audience measurement. WPP agencies J. Walter Thompson, Y&R and Memac Ogilvy performed well on regional and global award platforms and in 2016, WPP’s Classic Partnership also won a Gold and Silver in Pharma Lions.

tarek-miknas#8. TAREK MIKNAS
FP7/MENA’s focus on work that delivers came through in its consistent performance at platforms such as the Effie Awards. Earlier in the year, FP7/DXB, the agency’s Dubai office, was named the most effective individual agency office globally in the Effie Index 2016. In addition to work done for the likes of Mastercard, Unilever and Emirates NBD in the year, FP7/MENA also executed campaigns with social messages such as ‘The Veiled Woman’. FP7/MENA also launched FP7/START in the year, as a platform that aims to foster growth for startups, playing the role of a facilitator, making an impact beyond the advertising and marketing domain. Under Tarek Miknas’ guidance, FP7/MENA has created a strong position for itself in the region.

Tolga Cebe
Tolga Cebe
Wasim Basir
Wasim Basir

Mktg Director, Coca-Cola ME & Director, Integrated Mktg Communications, Coca-Cola MENA
For Coca-Cola, 2016 will be another good year as a marketer whose activities have resonated with the mass consumers. Coca-Cola is included in the few marketers that have employed forward looking digital strategies in a region that still relies significantly on legacy media. The company’s ‘No Labels’ campaign and ads such as ‘Dark Iftar’ attempted to communicate a message beyond just advertising and held it in good stead in global advertising platforms. The marketer ended the year with the announcement of being Advertiser of the Year at the Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity in 2017.

To vote for your person of the year, email or follow our online poll on Arabian Marketer Facebook page.

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