ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller named 'Middle East and Africa Agency of the Year' at International Business Awards

Abu Dhabi, UAE; October 12, 2011: ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the region's leading public relations consultancy, has been named “Middle East and Africa Agency of the Year” at the International Business Awards, which took place in Abu Dhabi on October 11, 2011.

In addition to receiving this prestigious accolade, the agency was also presented with the “International Campaign of the Year – Multicultural” award for its work on behalf of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), while the groundbreaking ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey was commended in the “Global Issues” category.

Competing against international and regional PR firms, as well as communications teams from multinational corporations and government agencies, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller was recognised, along with additional winners from 35 nations, at a gala ceremony at the Emirates Palace hotel.

According to the organisers of the International Business Awards, also known as the Stevies®, over 3,000 submissions were received from firms and individuals in more than 50 countries, demonstrating the clear, differentiating strength of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller in being named “Middle East and Africa Agency of the Year.”

Sunil John, Chief Executive Officer, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “This is a tremendous moment in the 11-year history of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, which provides global validation of the energy, dedication and commitment of the agency in meeting the evolving needs of our clients across a broad range of sectors and geographies.  We thank our clients across the region who have given us the opportunity to succeed through their success.

"In a 12-month period that began with businesses in the Middle East reshaping their strategies following the financial crisis and culminated in the drama of the Arab Spring, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller shaped public opinion, steered debate and set new benchmarks in evidence-based communications.

“In being named ‘Agency of the Year for the Middle East and Africa,’ it is clear that our seven practices and 11 fully-owned offices across the region continue to set the standard by which PR in the Middle East and Africa is judged.”

For its award-winning campaign for DIFF, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller focused on the event’s slogan for 2010: “Open Your World.” This meant opening up the festival to different communities, enhancing their participation and underscoring the festival’s points of differentiation, including as the largest-of-its-kind film market, the largest collection of Arabic-language films, and the largest cross-section of films from Asia, Africa and the Arab world.

A benchmark in thought leadership, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s proprietary Arab Youth Survey, launched four years ago, provides unique insights into the thoughts, hopes and aspirations of the region’s young people – based on face-to-face interviews with 2,000 Arab youth in 10 countries.

The findings of the most recent survey – including the democratic aspirations of regional youth – proved especially relevant amidst the events of the Arab Spring. As a result, the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey received extensive regional and international media coverage after being launched earlier this year in both Dubai and New York.   

The winners of the International Business Awards were selected in two phases of judging, preliminary and final. The preliminary judges were recruited worldwide and assigned categories based on their experience. The final judging was done by members of the Board of Distinguished Judges and Advisors of the International Business Awards, and other handpicked business leaders from around the world.

Nicknamed the Stevies® from the Greek word for ”crowned,” the awards are approximately 16 inches tall, hand-cast and finished in 24-karat gold, depicting an individual holding a crystal pyramid.