Asian Games hands out briefs

The agencies tasked with handling the creative and public relations for next year’s Asian Games in Doha have been appointed, Campaign can reveal.

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By  Tim Addington Published  October 23, 2005

The agencies tasked with handling the creative and public relations for next year’s Asian Games in Doha have been appointed, Campaign can reveal. Grey Worldwide will manage above the line advertising, Wunderman will look after below the line activity, while Bates PanGulf will be responsible for public relations. All three agencies will now either open offices or increase existing staff numbers in the Qatari capital to help service the high profile account. The Doha Asian Games Organising Committee placed adverts in regional national newspapers announcing the pitch earlier in the year. Proposals from interested parties were requested and then shortlisted agencies were invited to pitch for the business. The sporting extravaganza, which takes place from 1 to 15 December next year, is viewed as a prime opportunity to promote the country on an international stage. Wassim Rizk, regional development director for the Middle East and North Africa at Grey Worldwide, said the agency would be working on developing campaigns for the Middle East and Asia markets. He said: “They needed an agency that would stay with them for the duration of the games and beyond. The first campaign should come out towards the end of November and they will continue until March 2007.” Grey Worldwide is currently in the process of setting up an office in Doha that will have 25 staff recruited jointly from its office in Lebanon and locally. As well a servicing the Asian Games, the office will also handle Qatar telecom company Qtel from the base. Wunderman has been tasked with managing below the line, including all publications, sports manuals, brochures, branding and DM. Nassib Boueri, managing director at Wunderman, said the account was “amongst the largest” it has worked on. The agency will also be ramping up its presence in Doha and is looking to have ten people in place to manage the work. Bates PanGulf PR, which will handle public relations for the Middle East and Asia, said it was delighted to have been selected for the “prestigious” account. Oliver Stelling, chief operating officer at the firm, said its head count in Doha would be increased to eight as a result of the new business. Sponsors and partners for the Asian Games will be announced shortly.

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