MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGION STRENGTHENS DIGITAL CAPABILITY THROUGH DEAL WITH LEADING DIGITAL AGENCY
Beirut, Lebanon (23 November 2015) — WPP announced today that its wholly owned operating company J. Walter Thompson, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, agrees to acquire a majority stake in Cleartag, a leading regional full-service digital marketing agency. The digital agency will continue to trade as Cleartag.
The deal strengthens J. Walter Thompson’s digital offering in the fast-growing MENA hub, which includes Heathwallace operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and further augments the agency’s capabilities across cutting-edge technologies, design and content.
Cleartag was established in 2000 by current CEO and co-Founder, Tarek Dajani. A Masters of Engineering graduate from MIT, Dajani built Cleartag with his team of managing partners Omar Abou Ezzeddine, Wissam Malaeb and Nour Abou Alwan-Lagier, into one of the leading independent digital agencies in the region, with on the ground presence in Beirut and Dubai and outreach across the MENA region.
The agency offers cross-digital services including strategic consultancy, UX/UI design, social and online media management and analytics, web and mobile development, animation and motion design, and ambient media experiences. Clients include Bank Audi, ABC shopping mall, touch – the leading mobile operator in Lebanon, Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Dubai Expo 2020, and du - the Emirates integrated telecommunications company. High profile projects include Novo for Bank Audi; an offsite interactive branch that allows customers to interact with their bank faster, better and at more convenient locations and times.
Cleartag differentiates itself through its team of multi-disciplinary thinkers, its culture of innovation and experimentation and its creative and solution focused use of a diverse cutting edge technology palette.
“J. Walter Thompson is always looking at where the future is headed,“ commented Vatche Keverian, J. Walter Thompson MENA’s CEO, continuing, “which is why we have had Cleartag in our sight for some time. What made them stand out from other technology companies was our shared passion for ideas and being solutions orientated. More importantly was the human connection - the coming together of like-minded people strengthens our own future-proofing mindset. I very much look forward to developing the business across our MENA network and to some interesting innovations along the way.”
Speaking about the acquisition, Tarek Dajani said, “As our business and capabilities grew, we knew we needed to further expand our reach to match our ambitions. We found J. Walter Thompson to be a superb fit for Cleartag both commercially and culturally. Experimentation, innovation and discovery are at the heart of how we work and this deal will fulfill our team’s passion for ongoing learning as it provides us with a unique opportunity to tap into the extensive knowledge and global expertise within the J. Walter Thompson Company and the WPP group. I can’t think of a better strategic move for the agency: it is the perfect fast forward button.”
ABOUT J. WALTER THOMPSON COMPANY
J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today under the leadership of Global CEO Gustavo Martinez, the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Mirum and Colloquial.
In the Middle East and Africa, J. Walter Thompson is one of the leading communication agencies in the region with 27 offices in 24 markets. The MEA region is structured to deliver communication based business solutions across all channels needed to successfully deliver the marketing plan. For more information, please visit us www.jwt.com/mea and follow us @jwtmea