Coca-Cola appoints WPP as global marketing network partner, announces new marketing model

Coca-Cola appoints WPP as global marketing network partner, announces new marketing model
WPP will play a key role in executing a new marketing model for the beverage giant’s brands. (AFP)
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Updated 10 November 2021

Coca-Cola appoints WPP as global marketing network partner, announces new marketing model

Coca-Cola appoints WPP as global marketing network partner, announces new marketing model
  • Following a long agency review, WPP beat Publicis Groupe in the final round as global marketing partner

DUBAI: Coca-Cola Co. has named multinational communications network WPP as its global marketing network partner for its creative, media, data and marketing technology business across its portfolio for brands spanning over 200 countries.

WPP will play a key role in executing a new marketing model that is built to drive long-term growth for the beverage giant’s brands, whose new integrated agency model is part of an aggressive agenda to transform and modernize marketing and innovation as key drivers of the company’s growth.

“Consumers respond to an entire experience — they don’t separate the message from the medium — and that’s why we’ve designed an agency model to be truly consumer-centric and silo-free,” Manolo Arroyo, global chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola Co., said in a statement.

The new agency model has four components: a global marketing network partner to manage end-to-end creative, media, data, and marketing technology, across the whole portfolio; a complementary media partner to bring differentiated capabilities in select markets; a strategic roster of approved agencies to provide access to the best creative minds; and a common data and technology platform that connects marketing teams of five global categories, nine operating units, global ventures and platform services to the global marketing network partner, complementary media partner, and strategic roster.

“This model is about seamless integration of the power of big, bold ideas and creativity within experiences, amplified by media and data. It will enable us to create end-to-end experiences that are grounded in data-rich insights and optimized real-time, at scale, as we learn from consumers,” Arroyo said.

WPP will form a dedicated team for Coca-Cola called “OpenX” in a move that is unprecedented for Coca-Cola in terms of the “breadth and depth” of the partnership, the company said in a statement.

“This partnership, integrating our capabilities across content, media, data, production and technology, operating locally and globally, will complement the Coca-Cola Co.’s globally networked organization. It’s unparalleled in our industry in terms of breadth and depth of capabilities, and reflects WPP’s scale and reach around the world,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP.

Coca-Cola has also named Dentsu as its complementary media partner in certain markets where the group has distinctive strengths, according to the statement.

For its strategic roster of agencies, the company wanted to ensure it had access to the best creative minds around the world through the development of an open-source creative model. Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group both performed very strongly during the review process, the company said. Therefore, various agencies from both networks have been selected for Coca-Cola’s strategic roster and will play key roles in the open-source model, which is expected to account for one-third of all marketing work.

“I want to particularly recognize the work performed by the other finalist, Publicis Groupe. Publicis demonstrated being a phenomenal agency with a bold vision that challenged our thinking, making it one of our most challenging business decisions we have confronted, given its world-class capabilities,” Arroyo said.

“Agencies like Publicis and Leo Burnett blend creativity with data and technology, and I’m excited to work with them as part of our strategic roster.”

Similarly, IPG has “consistently demonstrated a passion for Coca-Cola brands and delivered some of our most important work around the world,” he added. “Their agencies like McCann and Mercado will continue to be key partners for the company.”

The new marketing model will be implemented with immediate effect. PwC advised on the global marketing network partner and strategic roster reviews, and MediaSense was the consultant on the complementary media partner review.


Delhi police arrest Muslim journalist over Twitter post

Mohammed Zubair. (Twitter @zoo_bear)
Mohammed Zubair. (Twitter @zoo_bear)
Updated 18 sec ago

Delhi police arrest Muslim journalist over Twitter post

Mohammed Zubair. (Twitter @zoo_bear)
  • Reuters partner ANI reported, citing Delhi Police sources, that Zubair was arrested based on a complaint from a Twitter account that said he insulted Hindus in a 2018 post commenting on the renaming of a hotel after the Hindu monkey god Hanuman

NEW DELHI: Delhi police on Monday arrested the Muslim co-founder of a fact-checking website, accusing him of insulting religious beliefs on Twitter, a network of digital media organizations said https://twitter.com/DigipubIndia/status/1541446752695308291, condemning it as an attempt to harass him for his journalism.
Mohammed Zubair, who co-founded Alt News and regularly tweets on rising marginalization of the Muslim minority in the country, was arrested under two sections of a law related to maintaining religious harmony, said the DIGIPUB association.
Alt News’s other co-founder, Pratik Sinha, said on Twitter no notice was given to Zubair before his arrest.
“He is currently detained inside a police bus in Burari for more than an hour,” Sinha said, referring to a Delhi neighborhood where Zubair was to be produced before a magistrate at his residence to authorize the journalist’s remand.
A Delhi Police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Calls to their office phone went unanswered.
Reuters partner ANI reported, citing Delhi Police sources, that Zubair was arrested based on a complaint from a Twitter account that said he insulted Hindus in a 2018 post commenting on the renaming of a hotel after the Hindu monkey god Hanuman.
Journalists demanded his immediate release.
“Journalist Zubair who routinely busted fake news, exposed the hate machinery in India has just been arrested,” said Rana Ayyub, another Muslim journalist who often invites the wrath of Hindu hard-liners. “The country is punishing those who reported, documented the decline.”
Ten human rights organizations said on World Press Freedom Day last month that Indian authorities were increasingly picking on journalists https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/05/03/india-media-freedom-under-threat and online critics for their criticism of government policies and practices, including by prosecuting them under counter-terrorism and sedition laws.
Government officials deny the charges.


Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system

Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system
Updated 27 June 2022

Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system

Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system
  • MBC Group’s Natasha Matos-Hemingway: We are excited to offer Shahid’s content for Emirates’ customers to enjoy, just in time for the busiest travel season of the year
  • The partnership sees Emirates growing its library of Arabic content on ice, which currently includes over 420 audio channels and 170 film and TV show channels

DUBAI: Emirates has partnered with MBC Group’s streaming platform Shahid to offer premium content exclusively on its inflight entertainment system, ice.

The partnership makes ice the only channel to offer access to Shahid Originals, aside from the streaming service’s own premium subscription online platform.

“We are excited to offer Shahid’s content for Emirates’ customers to enjoy, just in time for the busiest travel season of the year,” said Natasha Matos-Hemingway, chief commercial and marketing officer (VOD) at MBC Group.

Starting in July, 135 hours of Shahid content from 15 shows will be available on ice.

The content has subtitles to ensure its accessibility to a large international audience.

The partnership sees Emirates growing its library of Arabic content on ice, which currently includes over 420 audio channels and 170 film and TV show channels.

“We are excited to welcome the world’s leading Arabic streaming service content on board so passengers can catch up on all their favorite entertainment inflight, just as they do at home,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ senior vice-president, Retail, IFE & Connectivity.

Shahid’s biggest original production “Rashash,” which has been hugely popular in the Arab region, will be streamed for the first time by an airline on Emirates.

Other titles include “Anbar 6,” “Hell’s Gate,” “Al Shak,” “Dofa'at Beirut,” and “Salon Zahra.”

“Emirates is our first airline partner, and their global footprint enables us to reach viewers from many new markets and broaden the reach of our shows and brand — there is no better match for our ambitions,” Matos-Hemingway added.


Google hit with antitrust complaint by Danish job search rival

Google hit with antitrust complaint by Danish job search rival
Updated 27 June 2022

Google hit with antitrust complaint by Danish job search rival

Google hit with antitrust complaint by Danish job search rival
  • The complaint could accelerate EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s scrutiny of Google for Jobs

BRUSSELS: Google was hit with an antitrust complaint on Monday after a Danish online job-search rival took its grievance to EU regulators, alleging the Alphabet unit had unfairly favored its own job search service.
The complaint could accelerate EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s scrutiny of the service, Google for Jobs, three years after it first came under her microscope. Since then the EU has taken no specific action relating to the online job-search sector.
The European Commission and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent out of office hours.
Google, which has been fined more than $8.4 billion (€8 billion) by Vestager in recent years for various anti-competitive practices, has previously said it made changes in Europe after complaints from online job-search rivals.
Launched in Europe in 2018, Google for Jobs triggered criticism from 23 online job-search websites in 2019. They said they had lost market share after the online search giant had allegedly used its market power to push its new service.
Google’s service links to postings aggregated from many employers, allowing candidates to filter, save and get alerts about openings, though they must go elsewhere to apply. Google places a large widget for the tool at the top of results for ordinary web searches.
Jobindex, one of the 23 critics three years ago, said Google had skewed what had been a highly competitive Danish market toward itself via anticompetitive means.
Jobindex founder and CEO Kaare Danielsen said his company had built up the largest jobs database in Denmark by the time Google for Jobs had entered the local market last year.
“Nevertheless, in the short time following the introduction of Google for Jobs in Denmark, Jobindex lost 20 percent of search traffic to Google’s inferior service,” Danielsen told Reuters.
“By putting its own inferior service at the top of results pages, Google in effect hides some of the most relevant job offerings from job seekers. Recruiters in turn may no longer reach all job seekers, unless they use Google’s job service,” he said.
“This does not just stifle competition among recruitment services but directly impairs labor markets, which are central to any economy,” Danielsen said, urging the Commission to order Google to stop the alleged anti-competitive practices, fine the company and impose periodic payments to ensure compliance.
Jobindex said it had seen examples of free-riding, with some of its own job ads copied without its permission and marketed through Google for Jobs on behalf of Jobindex’s business partners. It also cited privacy risks to job applicants and its clients.


REVIEW: Kwai app

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 27 June 2022

REVIEW: Kwai app

Photo/Supplied
  • The app has a live feature that allows users to engage with and converse with their followers, compete against other users and earn money

Kwai is a new social media platform that allows users to share and edit short videos ranging from 15 seconds to five minutes in length.

Find funny short videos, add recordings and videos of your daily life, take part in daily challenges, or look for the best memes and videos.

The app will make it easier for users to raise their profile and appear on trending pages.

Kwai recently signed a deal with many Arab influencers to enhance engagement in the Middle East.

Use the app’s video editor to create your own masterpieces by utilizing your device’s camera, adding music or filters and instantly uploading your video.

The app has a live feature that allows users to engage with and converse with their followers, compete against other users and earn money.

Rules for posting videos help to protect younger viewers, while Kwai concentrates on Arab culture, creating hashtags and challenges suitable for the Arabic audience.

The app, developed by Chinese company Beijing Kuaishou Technology, has been downloaded by 300 million users worldwide.


Cannes Lions 2022: SRMG CEO discusses future of media on Bloomberg expert panel

Cannes Lions 2022: SRMG CEO discusses future of media on Bloomberg expert panel
Updated 26 June 2022

Cannes Lions 2022: SRMG CEO discusses future of media on Bloomberg expert panel

Cannes Lions 2022: SRMG CEO discusses future of media on Bloomberg expert panel
  • The panel explored trends impacting the media ecosystem and audiences around the world, including the metaverse, news gathering and information, data analytics, and technological innovation, among others

CANNES: SRMG CEO Jomana Al-Rashid joined a Bloomberg-hosted expert panel at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last week to discuss the future of the media.

“We are actively working to anticipate and shape the future of media through more investment in talent, technology, data and analytics, regional and global partnerships, research and studies, mega events and conferences ... and perhaps most importantly, exclusive premium content delivered across all screens, multi-platforms and touchpoints ... all this with the objective to stay relevant and engage audiences in five continents,” Al-Rashid told the panel.

She was joined by Ebony and Jet CEO Michele Ghee, MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan, Bloomberg Media Global Chief Marketing Officer Anne Kawalerski and MNTN President & CEO Mark Douglas.

The panel explored trends impacting the media ecosystem and audiences around the world, including the metaverse, news gathering and information, data analytics, and technological innovation, among others.

“We at SRMG strive to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving media sector, seize business opportunities, face potential challenges and exceed expectations, while continuing to offer added value to shareholders and business partners,” Al-Rashid added.

SRMG, one of the largest media and publishing groups in the Middle East, owns more than 30 major media outlets in the region, including Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat, Asharq News and Sayidaty.