THG celebrates unprecedented Cannes wins with plans to reach AED 1.4 billion in billing for 2006
New offices in Iran,Algeris,Tunisia,Qatar and Bahrain add to 35-office network; more offices planned in Sudan and Oman in Q4.
Continued investments in the best people, innovative training, groundbreaking research and methodologies fuel best-of-breed communications solutions for group clients.

Dubai, July 2, 2006: Fresh from three unprecedented wins at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France two weeks ago, the region’s leading diversified communications conglomerate, The Holding Group (THG), today announced that it expects regional billings to reach AED 1.4 billion in 2006.

THG – which includes advertising agencies Team/Young & Rubicam and Intermarkets, public relations firms Asda’a and Polaris, direct marketing specialists Wunderman and media buying arm Mediaedge:cia – provides advertising, media, direct marketing and public relations services to more than 260 clients in 15 countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Group scored an unmatched hat trick at Cannes, with Wunderman claiming the region’s first Cannes Gold Lion for direct marketing and Team/Y&R scooping two Silver Lions. The Group’s quality of work was further validated with Team/Y&R having a total of four finalists at Cannes, including the first-ever television commercial from the Middle East.

“We are proud that we have been able to contribute in associating the Middle East and North Africa market with world-class communications work,” said Joseph Ghossoub, THG CEO, at a media briefing in Dubai today.

“This has been a great year for THG, and it is not over yet,” said Ghossoub, who is also the Chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association. “The Group has witnessed double-digit growth year on year for the last several years, with more than 20 per cent annual growth recorded for each of the last three years. The trend is expected to continue unabated as the company moves into new markets and countries in the region.”

The Group, which employs 1,340 communications professionals, is currently pursuing a vigorous expansion programme, with new offices already opened in Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Qatar and Bahrain this year adding to the 35-office network. Two more offices, in Sudan and Oman, will be launched during the last quarter of the current year.

The Group also plans to continue its substantial investments in its people through innovative training programmes, groundbreaking research and methodologies to ensure that Group clients are provided best-of-breed communications solutions.

The fiscal outlook is the latest in a series of achievements for THG. Earlier this year at the Campaign Middle East industry awards, Asda’a was judged ‘PR Agency of the Year’, while Wunderman dominated the direct marketing category by winning the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, with Team/Y&R winning critical acclaim for being a finalist in 12 advertising categories and winning one Silver award. Team/Y&R, Wunderman and Intermarkets also triumphed at the IAA Jordan Advertising Awards by winning 21 Gold, 15 Silver and 18 Bronze awards.

“No other group or agency from this region has been able to attain these achievements,” Ghossoub added. “Our work has been recognized locally in the UAE, regionally and now internationally, a testament to our position at the leading edge of innovation in this industry.”

Ghossoub said the THG awards are proof that the Middle East communications industry has reached a tipping point, thanks both to the extraordinary efforts of a handful of driven individuals and companies and to a groundswell of support for quality ideas and execution.

“We in the Middle East are at a critical stage, where radical change is more than a possibility – it is a certainty,” he said. “We are charged with two great responsibilities: to develop and market our regional industry as a vital and capable force in the international community, and to accurately and effectively market our societies and cultures to the world. At THG, we are working on both of these goals in tandem.”