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Media Milestones.

Facebook buys Whatsapp

The deal of the year within 'media' involved 'the' social network buying the hottest mobile messenger app WhatsApp. A deal that was initially valued at $19.6bn rocketed to about $22bn when it was completed after regulators cleared it, in October, thanks to the stock price changes.

The deal overshadowed Facebook's Instagram buy last year and purchase of Oculus Rift earlier in the year. The investments seem to be paying off. The number of followers on Instagram overshot the number of Twitterusers as per reports in December - crossing 300mn.

JC Deceaux bags exclusive Oman Airports deal for 10 years

Global outdoor major JCDecaux signed a concession contract with Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) to establish and run advertising spaces in the Muscat International and Salalah airports for ten years.

The contract was signed in February 2014. The signing of the contract came two years after the Muscat Municipality signed an agreement that enabled JCDecaux to handle street furniture in the Sultanate.

Digital publisher forays into online TV

2Pure epublishing rebranded as Online Lifestyle Network (OLN), as it evolved into an online TV company. Rudolf Jabre and Zoya Sakr told Campaign MiddleEastinMarch2014howthe company's62staffacrossDubai,Saudi Arabia and Lebanon were working to overcome the immediate challenge - to make OLN TV work. OLN signed up with Digital Media Services (DMS), thedigitalarmoftheChoueriGroup, for ad sales. The video network was soft launched in November 2013.

Mindshare Cairo relaunches

youth agency Wasleens YouthagencyWasleenswas re-launched to help bridge the gap between Egyptian youngsters, the media and the advertising industry. RunbyMindshare'sCairooffice,the group is trained in several fields of the industry with hands-on experience, including pitching accounts to clients.

More than 200 members aged between 18 and 27 have been picked from schools and universities to learn professional skills by Mindshare, while providing youth research and insights to the advertising and media industry, the agency revealed in May.

IPSOS launches onlinepanel in the region

IPSOS added online metrics to its regional panel for the first time,it revealed in May this year. The company established 'desktop panels' in 12 countries across the Middle East and North Africa and launched mobile metering panels in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The move was attributed to increased online activity by brands, their advertising and media agencies, and the region's tech-savvy youth population. The new IPSOS Digital unit would also provide social media metrics and analytics, it was reported, besides develop an Online Adex solution for the region.

Unilever sole sponsor of YouTube channel UTurn in annual dea lIn June 2014, YouTube said it had signed one of its biggest commercial deals in the Middle East and North Africa till then. Unilever became the solesponsorofJeddah-basedYouTube channel UTurn, which hosts a variety of programming. The year-long deal marks the first time an advertiser in the MENA region has sponsored content exclusive to YouTube, which isownedbyGoogle.Unileverwill sponsor 15 of UTurn's channels.

"We have extended our relationship with UTurn this year," said Asadur Rehman, director of mediaor the Middle East and North

Africa at Unilever. "From being a content only partnership, it is now atripartGoogle-UTurn-Unilever partnership. We now have content integration and custom content integration alongside 100 per cent SOV on advertising on the YouTube UTurn content and channels."

Alfonso De Gaetano, branding sector lead at Google MENA, added: "Partnerships like this help us drive more revenues to the creator community on YouTube and give advertisers the opportunity to sponsor premium content and reach relevant consumers online with very effective and impactful campaigns."

P&G signs YouTube sponsorship deal

Procter & Gamble signed an exclusive deal with Google to sponsor more than 250 YouTube channels during Ramadan across the Middle East and North Africa region. The consumer goods company will sponsor channels including Rotana, Alaan, Masameer, Manal Alalem and Sayidaty Net in categories such as comedy, cooking and lifestyle. There were also talks to create a Procter & Gamble 'Ramadan Hub' to curate the content during the holy month.

Ali Faruqi, media and digital manager at Procter & Gamble, Arabian Peninsula, said: "Our exclusive sponsorship will allow us to further our reach and complement our other advertising plans during the holy month of Ramadan in a way that is both cost-effective and will give us instantinformationontheinitiative's success online."

Fox takes sales and marketing in-house

Fox International Channels (FIC) Middle East cut ties with Rotana MediaServices(RMS)aspartofa regional consolidation, it was reported. FIC, which is owned by 21st Century Fox, took away the rights from RMS to handle its advertising sales following its six-year partnership with the group. Channels under the FIC umbrella at the time included free-to-air channels Fox Movies, National Geographic Abu Dhabi and pay-TV channels National Geographic, Star Movies and Baby TV.

Sanjay Raina, managing director of Fox International Channels Middle East, said: "Given our in-house expertise in managing and operating Hollywood movie channels, we have realigned our approach to the market this year and have decided to move the marketing and sales function in-house. We have about 10 people in our ad sales team."

Rotana Media Services is the media marketing and advertising arm of Rotana Group.

Anti-piracy coalition shuts

down 15 channels 1

The Broadcast Satellite Anti-Piracy Coalition formed in March revealedin September that it had shut down 15 channels for infringement of intellectual property rights for studio-owned movies. David Butorac, the CEO of OSN, said, "There were a number of organisations that were simply stealing content, creating channels and then taking satellite capacity to distribute it. The operators of these channels were taking content from DVDs and content that they had acquired, but not licensed, and turning them into movie channels. In league with the satellite industry, we removed 15 of them."

The coalition included OSN, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA), MBC Group, du, STN, JMC, NilesatandArabsat.Thechannels shut down included: Al-Mamnou, Ahl Masar, CDC Cinema, CRT Cinema, Homos TV, I-Movies, Hollywood Stars, Kit Kat, Majestic 2, Mega Cinema, Nessma Al Khadra, QTV, ScopeTVMovies,TimeMovies

and Top Movies. They were foundto be responsible for more than 700 infringements of intellectual property rights since 1 January this year.

JC Decaux billboard in Riyadh sets Guinness record 2 JCDecauxATA,togetherwith

LG Electronics and King Khaled International Airport (KKIA), was awardedaGuinnessWorldRecordfor creating the world's largest outdoor advertising billboard at Riyadh's KKIA. The structure took over three months to complete and measures 250 x 12 metres.LG'sadvertisingartworkwas installed in only seven days, informed a JCDecaux statement. The structure on Riyadh Airport's access road showcased the new LG G3 smartphone at launch.

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Publication:Campaign Middle East
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Dec 21, 2014
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