Ketchum and TBWA\RAAD ink joint venture deal

Ketchum and TBWA\RAAD\PR executives at the launch of new entity Ketchum Raad Middle East. (SUPPLIED)

The closely knit affiliation between New York-based PR agency Ketchum and Dubai's TBWA\RAAD\PR was formalised yesterday with a joint venture agreement, leading to the formation of Ketchum Raad Middle East.

The two have been working together as affiliates since 2006 with TBWA\RAAD\PR representing Ketchum exclusively in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The new entity will operate in 14 cities spanning 12 countries, with offices in the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Riyadh), and affiliated offices in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

"The fit is perfect and the timing is right for TBWA\RAAD\PR to take our well-established relationship with Ketchum to the next level," said Ramzi Raad, TBWA\RAAD Chairman and CEO. "We see more and more companies in the Mena region placing public relations at the heart of their marketing programmes, and the new company, Ketchum Raad Middle East, is ideally placed to offer client advice and insight."

He refrained from giving details of the financial arrangement between the two establishments, but said the regional business holds a majority share.

Raad said: "This is part of our planned growth that was in the pipeline ever since the formation of TBWA\RAAD in 2000. It's a match of DNA between the two establishments and we will be imparting marketing and communication that are specialised over the years by Ketchum."

Raymond L Kotcher, Senior Partner and CEO, Ketchum, said: "Today, organisations around the world value the competitive advantage that well-executed, integrated public relations and communications programmes deliver. On the one hand, clients are demanding that their agencies deliver efficient and effective service at local and regional levels, and on the other hand it must be integrated globally. We're fortunate to be among the few agencies in the world in a position to do just that," he said in the official communiqué.

Hania Tabet , who will be heading the Ketchum Middle East operation as Managing Director of Ketchum Raad Middle East, said: "Our TBWA\RAAD\PR team adds a significant level of expertise across Arab markets and a professional approach that aligns exceptionally well with Ketchum's collaborative culture and creativity."

Jon Higgins, Ketchum Senior Partner and CEO of international operations, said: "The Middle East is an increasingly important region for our clients, with an excellent growth trajectory, and we are thrilled to be have the opportunity to invest with a partner."

 

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