WPP announces merger between Grey, AKQA

Advertising and media giant WPP’s AKQA and Grey are uniting to form a new network model, AKQA Group. (Supplied)
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Updated 13 November 2020

WPP announces merger between Grey, AKQA

  • The move follows other recent mergers of WPP agencies such as Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R, and BCW

RIYADH: Advertising and media giant WPP’s AKQA and Grey are uniting to form a new network model, AKQA Group.

The move follows other recent mergers of WPP agencies such as Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R, and BCW.

Grey is best-known for its creative storytelling and global brand building at scale, and AKQA for its innovation and experience design skills.

With heightened demand for digital transformation and technology-driven capabilities, the link-up is aimed at creating a powerful new proposition for clients as a leading creative solutions company with a worldwide footprint.

The AKQA Group will have 6,000 people in more than 50 countries and a blue-chip client roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 500’s (list of the largest US corporations based on total annual revenue) top 20. It will provide a full range of brand experience capabilities across all communications platforms, strengthening the skills and services of both companies for clients.

AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed and Grey Worldwide CEO Michael Houston will partner to lead the new group, with Ahmed as CEO and Houston as global president and chief operating officer of AKQA Group.

The AKQA Group will launch with the AKQA and Grey brands, which will be integrated over time into a single company based on client and market needs. The management team and creative leadership will be announced in the coming weeks, comprising leaders from AKQA and Grey.

Ahmed said: “Our goal is to expand horizons, combining the curiosity, ambition, imagination, and pioneering spirit of a startup with the reach of a global enterprise.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity for AKQA and Grey to bring our shared assets to life into a modern, creatively-led company, building upon our inspiring and useful work to create value for our clients, people, and communities.”

Houston said: “This exciting new partnership begins with what consumers expect, clients value, and brands need.

“Forming a new company that can deliver culture-driving ideas through technology at speed and scale is a potent proposition for our clients, large and small, and will allow us to offer the most powerful creative solutions in the industry,” he added.


Frankly Speaking: Arab News premieres first talkshow with former PM of Pakistan

Updated 28 November 2020

Frankly Speaking: Arab News premieres first talkshow with former PM of Pakistan

  • Hosted by veteran journalist Frank Kane, program will interview movers and shakers, world policymakers
  • Each episode of the program is 20 minutes, with occasional additional reporting and interviews to be included throughout

LONDON: Arab News, the region’s leading English-language Middle East newspaper, is proud to announce its latest video product: “Frankly Speaking,” a recorded show that will interview and challenge movers and shakers, world policymakers and influential deciders on topics relating to the Arab world.

Hosted by veteran, award-winning journalist and senior Arab News business columnist, Frank Kane, who has interviewed influential business leaders and key politicians from around the world including Emirati tycoon, Khalaf Al-Habtoor, president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Borge Brende, and Anthony Scaramucci, the former communications adviser to US President Donald Trump.

Each episode of the program is 20 minutes, with occasional additional reporting and interviews to be included throughout.

 

 

“Frankly Speaking” will be available on Arab New’s YouTube channel and on the program page on the Arab News website.

Commenting on the launch, Arab News Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas said: “As the leading English language news source on Saudi Arabia and Middle East, it was only natural for Arab News to expand its video offering and we are very proud to present 'Frankly Speaking' as our first product for our followers worldwide.”

“While editorial integrity can only be proven, the combination of the credibility of both the Arab News brand and the long experience and interview style of Frank Kane will ensure that each episode provides an intellectually stimulating debate and plenty of material for further discussion,” he said.

 

 

The first episode of “Frankly Speaking” launches on Saturday at 5 p.m. Riyadh time (2 p.m. GMT) and will feature former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who will talk about his own recipe for change in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia’s reforms, the difference between Islamabad’s relationship with Iran and with Saudi Arabia, as well as his views on Israel.