Feb 15 - 2010

Memac Ogilvy CEO Moutran Predicts Double Business Growth in Levant, North Africa

Memac Ogilvy is eyeing record growth in both profits and revenues in the region in 2010, said Edmond Moutran, Chairman and CEO, Memac Ogilvy and Mather Holding. “Our business in the Levant and North Africa will probably dou-ble this year as compared with 2009. We have serious growth in Abu Dhabi and moder-ate growth in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

This optimistic projection was made at a media roundtable attended by Miles Young, CEO of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide; Daniel Sicouri, Chairman EAME, Ogilvy and Mather; and Ronald Howes, Managing Director of Memac Ogilvy UAE.

Moutran said: “On the local perspective, I am an optimist. Under the impact of the global economic crisis, advertising discipline has slightly declined. However, all the other disciplines have grown, especially OgilvyOne which has seen a good year in 2009.”
Young said Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide was looking at flat revenues in 2010 versus a decline estimated at 10 percent last year, in line with global industry figures. However, he noted that not much recovery was expected from the US and Europe.

“Looking at 2010, we are expecting a record year especially driven by the growth in the Levant markets such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco as well as Abu Dhabi,” added Moutran.

Memac Ogilvy had already started operations in Abu Dhabi and has been working with clients even though the office is not officially launched yet. Moutran expects the launch to take place very soon.

The reason for the boom in the Levant markets and in Abu Dhabi, is the growing un-derstanding of the need for advertising.
Moutran explained: “We have a great office in Damascus. Many of our clients have never advertised before, either because they did not feel the need to or did not have the money. The same is happening with Lebanon where stability has driven busi-nesses to spend money on advertising. We have a handsome business in Jordan as well. This region is just like Dubai was five or six years ago.

“In terms of growth, Young set the lines by which all the global offices and part-ners followed, namely focusing on growth in consulting areas and digital communica-tions.

At the beginning of 2010, Memac Ogilvy had pointed that it would continue with “prudent investment in new offices, new service offerings and talent development as well as growing our key client portfolio mix while expanding digital competencies”.
Moutran said: “We are diversifying very quickly, not only because of the money is-sues, but also because our clients require more expertise and we need to be more helpful in that sense.”

He noted that Memac Ogilvy would be launching three new disciplines, one of them to be revealed next month.

The agency had launched OgilvyAction in July 2009. OgilvyAction, which was already established in Dubai and Jeddah, had earlier chalked out plans to launch four other offices in the region by this year.