hug digital 1Grey Group has acquired a majority stake in hug digital, a leading independent regional digital marketing agency, based in the Middle East. Founded in 2009 by Oussama Jamal (Chairman) and Tim Baker (Chief Executive Officer), hug digital is one of the largest and fastest growing 360°digital agencies in the MENA region. hug digital provides digital campaigns, social media, content, influencer and activation marketing, web and mobile app development, media planning and buying as well as digital research, analysis and social listening.

Headquartered in Dubai (UAE), with offices in Egypt and India, hug digital employs around 145 full-time staff. Their blue-chip client roster includes more than 70 international, regional and local brands such as Americana (Hardees, TGI Fridays, Krispy Kreme), Al-Futtaim (Al Futtaim automotive group, Toyota, Honda, Lexus), Majid Al Futtaim (Ski Dubai, Magic Planet, iFly, Little Explorer, LEGO), Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Tourism, HMD Nokia, Shell, Festival City Group, Nestle’s Maggi, Clorox, Sarai by MNHD and Emaar among others.

As Chairman and CEO respectively, Jamal and Baker will continue to head the hug digital operations whilst working closely with Nirvik Singh to set the overall strategic digital growth plan for the region.

Pranjal DesaiMediaMath announced the appointment of Pranjal Desai as Country Manager, India, MediaMath.

This move comes on the back of the company’s exclusive partnership with India’s Zirca Digital Solutions announced earlier this year and further strengthens MediaMath’s growing presence in the market.

India’s digital ad spend is expected to surpass US$1 billion for the first time this year and is projected to continue growing at double-digit rates through 2020. With its launch in India and partnership with Zirca Digital Solutions, MediaMath is working to accelerate this growth, by way of cultivating a healthy programmatic environment that will empower brands to realise the full potential of the technology and industry.

Desai will lead MediaMath’s expanding team in India and be responsible for growing the company’s presence across the market. Previously an Associate Director for the ad sales team at Flipkart, a leading e-commerce company in India, Desai brings with her several years of in-depth experience in building and owning relationships with large brands across various industries. Prior to Flipkart, Desai was managing Oomph Australia’s top key accounts, including Australia’s largest publishing houses and media agencies.

Kerry AgiasotisSage, the market leader for integrated cloud accounting, payroll and payment systems, has announced the appointment of Kerry Agiasotis into the role of Executive Vice President for Sage Asia Pacific.

Starting at Sage on 11th September, Agiasotis will report to President Blair Crump and take responsibility for ensuring Sage’s continued growth and success in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region as well as assume responsibilities for the Australia business.

Agiasotis will maintain Sage’s focus on providing customers with newly-launched global cloud technologies and support, new customer acquisition and ensure a loyal following for local payroll, payment and accounting solutions, all of which contribute to quality growth.

Agiasotis joins from Western Union Business Solutions, where he had been President of Western Union's global Business Solutions division since October 2013. Previously, he led the company’s Sales function and held the position of Regional Managing Director for the APAC region. He also spent time in leadership roles Oracle’s sales business and at Siebel Systems.

Kerry has more than 20 years’ experience in business management, sales and consulting gained primarily in the Financial Services and IT Industries and has a deep understanding of business builders, having had his own business consultancy practice serving SMEs in the past.

The Australian-born Mr. Agiasotis holds an Executive MBA degree from the Australian Graduate School of Management and will be based in Sydney, Australia. Agiasotis steps into the leadership role after Alan Osrin, Managing Director, Sage Australia announced his impending retirement a few months ago.

socialbakers logoSocialbakers has becomes a LinkedIn Marketing Analytics Partner.

Socialbakers will offer marketers integrated access to LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network on the Internet with more than 500 million members worldwide, directly from the Socialbakers Suite. As a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Partner in the area of Analytics, Socialbakers will provide marketers with insights to help them use LinkedIn to build and nurture relationships, acquire and retain customers, as well as source and recruit top talent.

LinkedIn is the latest addition to the Socialbakers social media analytics and publishing platform, which tracks social data across all major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and and helps some of the world’s biggest brands to measure and optimize the return on their social media investment. Marketers will be able to access the LinkedIn directly from the Socialbakers Suite, enabling them to measure the performance of their pages, their ad campaigns and optimize their overall performance on the platform.

The LinkedIn Marketing Partner Program is a global community of LinkedIn-approved technology and service providers that marketers can leverage to save time and improve campaign performance.

Attributed to Daniel Surmacz, COO, RTB House

ACL, the software provider helping governments and the world's largest companies quantify risk, stamp out fraud and optimize performance, announced the strengthening of its Asia Pacific management team with the addition of two experienced leaders.

Stephen Thurley has been named managing director of the Asia Pacific region, and Anthony Fernandez has joined as director of data-driven GRC consulting.


As managing director, Stephen Thurley will lead and accelerate the growth of ACL's Asia Pacific portfolio. Thurley has 26 years of software solutions experience, most recently in sales leadership at SAI Global and Thomson Reuters. His prior experience includes head of sales, GRC Asia Pacific for Thomson Reuters PLC and managing director at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, Asia Pacific and Japan.

Anthony Fernandez, a Certified Public Accountant, joins ACL from global audit, accounting and consulting group, Mazars, where he was associate director of business risk & consulting. He brings deep industry expertise, with previous positions including general manager of internal audit at Grupokaybee and head of risk advisory and COO at RT, LLP. In his new role, Fernandez will lead ACL Asia's Professional Services team, responsible for driving customer success through consulting, implementation, training and support services.

These additions to the team will augment ACL's continued efforts to infuse strong execution and productivity into Asia Pacific operations, to better serve a major growth market for GRC.

Himanshu Dilip KulkarniAppsFlyer, the leading mobile attribution and marketing analytics company with more than 54% of the India market share, appointed former InMobi India Head Sales - Performance, Himanshu Kulkarni, as India Sales Director.

At AppsFlyer, Himanshu will focus on strategically expanding AppsFlyer’s footprint and strengthening current relationships with clients in India. Prior to this, he led the Ad Sales team at InMobi where he was responsible for developing strategic partnerships with Indian online companies. In addition, he has also worked intensively in the APMEA region to grow the business. He previously held roles at Suzlon Energy Ltd, GaMa Entertainment and IMS Learning and is an alumnus of ISB, Hyderabad.

Himanshu joins an AppsFlyer team in India that has grown threefold over the past year. The team has consistently doubled its year-on-year revenue since entering the India market in 2015, and, as mobile business continues to grow throughout India, AppsFlyer continues to add staff spanning across tech support, customer success management, partner development and sales in India to help marketers and businesses leverage the rapidly-evolving mobile landscape.

India is the fastest growing mobile market, faster than even China, and its mobile advertising industry is estimated to experience triple growth rates by 2018, up from US $347 million in 2016. As India undergoes a transformative era in mobile advertising, AppsFlyer is uniquely positioned to support marketers in India to maximize marketing potential and mobile growth – domestically and globally. Offering the best-in-class technology, support and service, AppsFlyer enables Indian businesses to measure and optimize campaigns and eradicate challenges such as mobile ad fraud.

Himanshu’s appointment comes at an opportune time as AppsFlyer looks to make further inroads into one of the largest markets globally. He will be responsible for leading a strong sales team with a well-stocked pipeline to drive even more growth for AppsFlyer. In 2016, AppsFlyer measured 25 billion mobile “events,” from repeat app launches to in-app purchases that result from an advertiser’s marketing activities in India. Following that, it continued to measure 50 billion events in the first half of 2017 alone. The mobile marketing technology giant expects a year-on-year growth of 400% in events measured. With its technology found on more than 98 percent of the world’s smartphones, leading brands, businesses, advertising agencies and mobile developers rely on AppsFlyer for the essential data and tools that lead to business growth.

Toby CodringtonWilliams Lea Tag appointed Toby Codrington as the company’s new CEO APAC and CMO.

Williams Lea Tag, part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group , is a provider of marketing and communications services that helps organizations transform business processes, enhance customer conversations and realize the potential of their brands.

Toby has spent over a decade growing new business for Williams Lea Tag, having worked across the entire business in both the APAC and EMEA regions. He has delivered strong growth and led some of William Lea Tag’s largest global accounts, owning client engagement and service delivery across a number of our most prestigious clients in multiple sectors and markets.

Prior to joining Williams Lea Tag in 2006, Toby has worked within the commercial and marketing side of sport, owning the commercial strategy and execution at Saracens and the Oval. Toby started his career in the sponsorship team at the Rugby Football Union. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

michaelMarking the exact anniversary of its founding 100 years ago, Grey Group announced the appointment of its next generation of leadership with the promotion of Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer of Grey Group, effective immediately.

A ten-year veteran of Grey, he has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey's founding in 1917. Michael Houston joined Grey New York, the global network's flagship headquarters office, in 2007 as Executive Vice President, Director of Marketing, to lead Grey's business development and brand marketing efforts. He was promoted to Global Chief Marketing Officer of Grey worldwide in 2010 in recognition of Grey's unprecedented growth. Appointed to the new position of Managing Director of Grey New York in 2011, Houston took on the role of Chief Operating Officer of the 1,000-person strong office in 2012. He was named to the prestigious Crain's New York Business "40 Under 40" list in 2012. One year later, Houston was promoted to CEO of Grey North America overseeing the New York, San Francisco and Canadian offices as well as Grey Activation and PR and Wing, the multicultural marketing communications agency. Under his leadership, Grey has won such blue-chip clients as Gillette, Volvo, Nestlé, Hasbro, Papa John's, Kellogg's and Marriott. He took on an expanded worldwide leadership role in 2016 when he became Global President of Grey.

James R. Heekin, who has led the company, as Chairman and CEO of Grey Group since 2007, will remain Executive Chairman of Grey Group. He will continue to work closely with Houston, global management and clients to ensure a smooth transition and Grey's ongoing success in the years ahead. Under Heekin's leadership, Grey has energized its management ranks with a sweeping infusion of world-class talent; introduced a new global strategic model for developing outstanding creative ideas across platforms; enhanced its total communications offering with acquisitions in every region; enjoyed the most successful decade in its history adding over $2 billion in new business billings from blue-chip clients and has become a global creative powerhouse.

royTo sharpen focus on the continued growth of Indonesia, PHD has appointed Roy Simangunsong to lead the market as Managing Director.

In his new role, Roy will lead PHD across all business functions, reporting to Rajat Basra, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Indonesia.

Roy joins PHD from Twitter Indonesia where he held the post of Country Head, responsible for revenue, growth, and product adoption. Roy has over two decades of experience in marketing and business management with a focus on digital. Over the course of his career, Roy has worked in senior leadership roles in industries ranging from Airlines, Software, Business Consultancy, Media and credited with strengthening the growth and profitability of the companies worked for.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) announced the appointment of Peter Giakoumelos as Vice President of Advertising Sales for Southeast Asia, with immediate effect.

Based in Singapore, Giakoumelos reports to Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Southeast Asia. In this role, he will lead a team to drive advertising sales growth across multiple platforms for the Viacom brands – MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, Paramount Channel – in Southeast Asia.

Most recently, Giakoumelos was with Turner Broadcasting and Imagine Group Entertainment as Head of Sales for Asia Pacific at both organizations. Giakoumelos brings with him over two decades of media industry and sales experience. Previously, he was with Discovery Networks and Euro RSCG/Mindshare in Singapore and was at Regional Radio Bureau, Zenith Media and DDB Needham in Sydney.

EzekielChewContiki, a leader in travel experiences for 18-35's, is delighted to introduce its new Director of Sales & Marketing, Asia, Ezekiel Chew. In his new role, Ezekiel will lead the Asia team to expand sales and market growth for the region. He will report directly to Contiki CEO Casper Urhammer, based in Contiki’s Europe headquarters in Geneva.

Contiki Holidays is part of The Travel Corporation, the family of brands that also includes Insight Vacations, Trafalgar, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Every year, The Travel Corporation takes over 2 million travellers to 70 different countries across 30 of its award-winning travel brands.

Ezekiel joins Contiki from a completely different industry. He is a well-recognised authority in the forex trading industry. He founded Asiaforexmentor which became one of Asia’s largest forex education company. Ezekiel is a frequent main speaker at various financial events and is deeply passionate about connecting with people and helping to inspire them in seeking positive goals in their life. Ezekiel is excited about his new career appointment with Contiki where he is able to inspire the people he meets about the unique experiences and enriching rewards that travelling brings forth.

Contiki gives travellers the freedom and flexibility to discover each travel destination the way they like. That’s why every single one of Contiki’s trips has built in ME Time made up of two parts – free time and ME Time optional. This allows everyone to enjoy Europe in a way they prefer – whether sipping espressos and munching macarons in a Parisian patisserie, or roaming in the back streets of Rome. With ME Time options, Contiki offers the traveller who has a list of “must see” and “must do” activities to do it all. Tried and tested experiences that are iconic of each travel destination, offered at the best prices with transport sorted so you don’t have to figure out the logistics.

Contiki is a firm believer that life’s greatest experiences are made better by the people you share them with. That’s why Contiki invented group travel for young people in 1962 and has spent the past 53 years perfecting it. As a traveller, you can explore amazing destinations with a group of 18-35 year olds from around the world who share your passion for adventure, good times and creating memories that define what it is to be young, wild and free. Contiki offers an unbeatable mix of sightseeing and culture in over 50 countries across 6 continents. With over 300 trips around the world and plenty of departure dates to work into your schedule, you'll never be short of options on where to go for your next great adventure.

Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and data analytics, announced the acquisition of Cosmify, a knowledge discovery platform that uses advanced machine learning technology for in-depth analysis of corporate data sets.

Cosmify’s technology will help Meltwater’s industry-leading platform intelligently manage the vast amounts of data from multiple sources that businesses need to make competitive decisions based on insights from the outside.

The acquisition of Cosmify comes on the heels of several key acquisitions for Meltwater that have broadened its global footprint and cemented the company’s commitment to data science and machine learning. Meltwater recently announced its plans to acquire Canada’s Infomart, followed closely by Hong Kong-based social big data SaaS solution Klarity. Earlier this year, it acquired Oxford University spinout, Wrapidity to add AI-based crawling to Meltwater’s platform and last year, Meltwater acquired Encore Alerts, a US-based data science driven media monitoring company.

Meltwater is actively seeking investment opportunities and partnerships to continue expanding its media intelligence services globally, with a strong emphasis on data science.