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Saatchi & Saatchi X has appointed Olga Kudryashova as its head of planning for the Middle East & North Africa.

She will be based in the shopper marketing agency's Dubai office and will be responsible for understanding shoppers' behaviour and developing market insights that will help inspire the creative process.

Joining from MCN, Kudryashova will begin working closely with the global psychology department at the agency, helping to understand the emotions and motivations of shoppers in the Middle East. She will also examine the trends, issues and consumer attitudes in the sectors that Saatchi & Saatchi X is currently focused upon.

Managing director for Saatchi & Saatchi X MENA, Richard Nicoll, said: "Olga's appointment is testament to how far Saatchi & Saatchi X has developed and grown in the last year. With her experience and enthusiasm we are able to glean a deeper level of insight that will help influence a client's marketing strategy and improve shoppers' lives as a result."

Saatchi & Saatchi X offers shopper marketing services as well as environmental design, package design and instore media. The agency is part of the Publicis Groupe network, the world's third-largest advertising agency holding company.

Arc Leo Burnett has appointed Raja Sowan as regional director for its retail engagement practice division.

The position includes direct responsibility for a variety of Dubai-based businesses that have a clear retail focus. Sowan will lead these businesses and develop them, while raising the agency's public profile in the retail sector.

With 28 years' retail experience, he is well placed to lead the company's drive for new business. "Raja's wideranging industry experience and deep understanding of our clients make him the ideal candidate to be driving this area," said Kamal Dimachkie, managing director of Leo Burnett UAE, Kuwait & Lower Gulf.

Part of the Publicis Groupe, Arc Leo Burnett is a global marketing services brand, specialising in retail engagement and promotional marketing.

LightBlue, the Dubai-based experiential agency, has expanded its creative team with the appointment of Gabor Zador (pictured)and Phil Burwood. Zabor comes to LightBlue from CPD in Dubai, where he held the position of art director and worked on Landmark Group, RTA, MAN, Intel, Canon and Engel & VE[micro]lkers. Prior to coming to Dubai, Zabor worked with the leading Hamburgbased advertising agency KNSK.

Burwood joins LightBlue from Wolff Olins in the UK where he was creative lead responsible for the Littlewoods and Very brands. Prior to that, he worked for Kidrobot and Nike/Jordan.

LightBlue was established in 2007. Its clients include Sony PlayStation, African & Eastern, Beiersdorf, Diageo and FoodFund International.

Bareface, the Dubai stills production house and agency representing photographers, models, session stylists, entertainers, cast and kids, and locations, has recently appointed Neha Faddy as senior producer to join the company's expanding production division.

Neha has previously worked as an art buyer/producer at Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai. Bareface was founded in 2001 and its eight divisions cater to both a local and internationally-based clientele.

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Publication:Campaign Middle East
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Dec 6, 2010
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