New creative director to help boost Memac Ogilvy

Memac Ogilvy has strengthened its Dubai creative team with the appointment of a new creative director.

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By  Tim Addington Published  May 14, 2006

Memac Ogilvy has strengthened its Dubai creative team with the appointment of a new creative director. Rob Phillips joins Moneer Barakat to head up the agency’s creative department as part of managing director Ronald Howes’ plans to shake up its output. Phillips, who was born in Bahrain and has previously worked in the Middle East, joins Memac from London’s Brand Puppy, where he worked as creative director on accounts such as Bloomberg and Costa Coffee. Prior to that he was creative director at Church and senior art director at HHCL. He said: “One of the things that I want to achieve is to bring together the client, creative and account handling. To be a coach, not just with creative, but with the client and champion the creative product to get to a level we believe the agency is capable of.” Phillips claimed that the standard of creativity in the region was on par with that of London, but he wanted to raise the bar of creativity in the region even higher. Barakat said both he and Phillips had defined roles but both had the same objectives. “Rob and myself will run the department as joint creative directors. He is more focused on the art side and I am the copy. “I think what they want to see from across all accounts and brands is simple fresh ideas. This is what the management is asking for.” He also said that there was an increasing realisation from both clients and advertisers that more creative work will boost sales. “There is much more focus on creative product. People are starting to learn that the creative will make you successful. Clients are seeing that,” Barakat said. Phillips added: “That’s what I think has been forgotten in London.” The duo has been tasked with getting Memac into the top three in Dubai, and eventually to the number one spot. Both said that they wanted to be more challenging in their creative output, as well as introducing more humour into the work. Howes, who was bought into Dubai from McCann Russia, wants to build the Memac business and strengthen its creative offering. He told Campaign: “We must change our own mindset before we can change the clients. We are looking at the processes we have and how capable they are of ensuring the demands of international marketing brand clients are met, what is missing, who is missing, what gaps do we have.”

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