Grey Group acquires majority stake in hug digital
Grey 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.
“Grey Group’s acquisition of hug digital enhances our leadership position in the MENA creative and digital space,” said Nirvik Singh, Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. “It underscores Grey’s commitment to expand our offering and deliver quality, value-added services to our clients.”
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.
“We’re very excited about our new partnership,” stated Oussama Jamal. “We are eager to take our digital expertise and knowledge of the MENA region and scale this with WPP and Grey Group. This acquisition will enable us to access resources that will expand our capabilities and accelerate our growth.”
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.
“This deal cements seven years of hard collective work from our dedicated team. We are proud to become part of the world’s largest communications group, WPP, partner with Grey and continue our digital journey with the same enthusiasm as the day we started hug digital,” said Tim Baker.
The acquisition will bring additional benefits to clients of hug digital, including access to Grey Group’s offerings in production, GreyWorks; its shopper-marketing agency, Grey DPI; and its highly-regarded creative and design technology company, Vinyl-I. Similarly, Grey Group’s clients from across the globe will benefit from the digital technology and local expertise of hug digital.
About Grey Group
Grey Group ranks among the largest global communications companies. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Under the banner of “Grey Famously Effective Since 1917”, the agency serves a blue-chip client roster of many of the world’s best known companies: Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Canon, Revlon and Boehringer Ingelheim. Grey MENA Website: http://grey.com/mena. In the Asia Pacific region, Grey Group covers 28 cities in 16 countries and works with some of the biggest brands in the region. For more information, please visit http://grey.com/apac.
About hug digital
hug digital is a regional digital agency with a presence in the UAE, Egypt and India. It comprises of 145 staff members from 18 different nationalities and aims to harness the power of digital in delivering simple, great ideas. Website: www.hugdigital.com
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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