The Dubai International Advertising Festival, the leading awards for creative excellence in advertising and communications in the Middle East and North Africa, announced today that Raja Trad, CEO of Leo Burnett Group MENA and member of the Leo Burnett Worldwide Global Leadership Council (GLC), will be presented with the Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2012 Award.
The Dubai Lynx Advertising Person Award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to advancing the reputation and profile of the communications industry in the MENA region. The recipient of the award is selected by the organisers of the Dubai International Advertising Festival.
“With great passion and commitment, not only has Raja Trad achieved great success for the Leo Burnett Group in the Middle East and North Africa, but he has raised the profile and made an exceptional contribution to the development of the region’s advertising and communications industry,” said Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Dubai International Advertising Festival, who, with Motivate Publishing, are joint organisers of the festival. “We are delighted to hounour Raja with this well-deserved accolade.”
Trad is the CEO of the Leo Burnett Group of Companies, MENA, an integrated communications network (Brand Agency, Cross Channel Brand Building Experts, Digital and New Media Activation and Public Relations) headquartered in Dubai with offices in Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Qatar, Beirut, Amman, Cairo and Casablanca. Through solid and expansive partnerships with its multinational clients and through the strong growth of its regional and local accounts, Leo Burnett MENA has become one of the region’s leading agencies.
Commenting on the award, Trad said: “It is an honour to receive this recognition, especially from such a professional, credible body, which works hard with us to elevate the industry standards of advertising and communications in the region. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lynx Committee for presenting to me the title Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2012.
“I owe my success to my team of Burnetters who, together with me, believe in a shared vision and a culture of seamless collaboration. Our common beliefs and passionate commitment to advertising, coupled with high integrity, has got us to where we are today.”
Trad began his career in advertising in 1978 as an account executive with Young & Rubicam on the Procter & Gamble account in Beirut and Athens. In 1981, he joined H&C Leo Burnett Beirut as an account director, and in 1984 he was named regional account director on the Philip Morris account. He moved to Bahrain in 1987 as sub-regional managing director for the Bahrain, UAE and Kuwait operations. In 1991, Trad became the CEO of Leo Burnett Middle East. North Africa was added to his geographic scope in 2000. A year later, in 2001, his responsibilities as CEO of Leo Burnett MENA were expanded to cover all non-media operating units in the region.
Over the years, Trad has dedicated his time to growing the network and developing its talents. Between 1991 and 2011 the number of professionals swelled from 120 to 600, while the network as a whole expanded from three offices to ten.
Trad was the recipient of the Lebanese Order of the Cedar (Knight) from the Lebanese President of Republic in 2004; he served as a trustee to the American University of Beirut (AUB) for three years, and as a board member of Dubai Media Incorporated.
Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Raja Trad received his Bachelor of Arts in political studies and public administration from the American University of Beirut in 1977. He is married to Suzane Sawan, and has two daughters, Nadine and Nathalie.
Trad will be honoured and presented with the Dubai Lynx Advertising Person 2012 trophy during the awards ceremony and dinner to be held on March 7 at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena in Dubai, venue of the festival.
Previous recipients of this honour are Joseph Ghossoub, President and CEO of MENACOM (formally The Holding Group); Tanvir Kanji, Head of Inca Tanvir; Ramzi Raad, Chairman & CEO of TBWA\RAAD Middle East; and the 2011 recipient was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline & Group.