Agency signs up new MD as part of restructuring

Full service communications agency Octopus has hired former Saatchi & Saatchi and Impact BBDO creative director Paul Bruce as its new managing director.

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By  Richard Abbott Published  October 9, 2005

Full service communications agency Octopus has hired former Saatchi & Saatchi and Impact BBDO creative director Paul Bruce as its new managing director. The move is part of a shake-up at the helm of the Dubai-based firm. Bruce, who has been regional creative director for graphic design outfit Dunes for five years, replaces Octopus’s current managing director Stuart Cameron, who is becoming the group’s chairman. He is no stranger to the agency’s business, having worked closely with Cameron and creative director Stu Higton on Octopus’s launch six years ago. All three had previously worked together at Saatchi & Saatchi in Saudi Arabia. “Frankly, I can’t wait to get stuck in,” said Bruce, who officially starts at the end of October. “It must have been six years since I sat down with the two Stus at a local beach bar and popped the question ‘so what are we going to call this new company then?’ “Like everything Octopus does, the name wasn’t simply plucked from the ether — it was finally agreed upon because it fitted our business model and was, like the company itself, a little unusual. In short, we believed it had legs.” Octopus, which has 25 staff, is a brand and communications consultancy offering change management and strategic marketing consultancy, through-the-line communications services and PR. Bruce’s main focus will be to grow the company regionally as well as attracting more multi-national clients. “The market is a tough one, especially if you stick to your beliefs, fight fair, and refuse to settle for anything less than exceptional,” said Bruce. “But with more and more international and internationally-minded businesses setting up in the Middle East, opportunities for growth have never been more exciting.” Cameron said Bruce is one of the best strategic creative minds he has worked with. “He understands the importance of the great idea, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and he is very much a believer in where we are trying to steer this ship,” he said. Bruce spent five years working for Saatchi & Saatchi in Riyadh and Dubai and also had brief spells as creative director for Face to Face and Impact BBDO before joining Dunes in 2000. Cameron also revealed that Octopus is in the final stages of hiring a deputy managing director to work with Bruce.

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