Dubai - Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Middle East and North Africa, Elias Ashkar has outlined his vision for the continuing growth of the Network in the region. Ashkar confirmed recent restructuring within the network was part of an overall move towards full ownership of agencies in every market, with the intention of each agency being recognised as the best in its market.
“There can be few regions in the world as dynamic, uncertain, and yet totally inspiring as the Middle East and North Africa”, said Ashkar. “At Saatchi & Saatchi, our dream is to be revered as the hothouse for world-changing ideas that create sustainable profitable growth for our clients. This is a dream that shares its vision with the future of the Middle East as a whole. We want to be at the forefront of a cultural refocus that celebrates the values, energy, business aptitude and creativity that have thus far made our region a success, and will continue to sustain us long into the future.”
“To do this, our agency needs to be in control of our own destiny. Immediately, this means that we will be opening a fully-owned office in Beirut to be called Saatchi & Saatchi Levant, to be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2010. At the initial stage, Beirut will service the entire Levant/Near East Region, with offices in Damascus, Amman and Baghdad planned for a subsequent stage of development,” said Ashkar. “Similarly, we are looking at opportunities to enter other new markets in the region such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain.”
Ashkar has been overseeing the restructure of Saatchi & Saatchi Middle East and North Africa since becoming CEO in November 2008. His tenure has seen notable wins for Saatchi & Saatchi across the region, including the marquee Dubai RTA metro contract.
Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa, Simon Francis has given his stamp of approval to the plans, saying, “Fully-owned Saatchi & Saatchi offices across the region will maximize our network resources and creative energy for clients with interests in multiple countries in the Middle East and North Africa. They will also provide a strong offering to specifically local interests, consolidating our continuing drive to create compelling content solutions that build Loyalty Beyond Reason.”