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Ketchum and TBWA\RAAD\PR Create Joint Venture in Middle East; Firm Will Be Known as Ketchum Raad Middle East

Two Premier Communications Networks Formalize Partnership, Combining Excellent Regional and Global Services and Capabilities

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NEW YORK and DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Ketchum, one of the world's leading public relations agencies, and TBWA\RAAD\PR, the fast-growing communications network in the Middle East, today announced the formation of a joint venture agreement to deliver enhanced capabilities to clients in the region and internationally. Since 2006, TBWA\RAAD\PR has operated as the exclusive affiliate for Ketchum in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The new firm, Ketchum Raad Middle East, will operate in 14 cities spanning 12 countries, with offices in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Riyadh), and affiliated offices in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.

"Today, organizations around the world value the competitive advantage that well-executed, integrated public relations and communications programs deliver and see these as a key component of the mix," commented Raymond L. Kotcher, senior partner and CEO, Ketchum. "On the one hand, clients are demanding that their agencies deliver efficient and effective service at local and regional levels, and on the other hand it must be integrated globally – across time zones, geographies, languages and cultures. We're fortunate to be among the few agencies in the world in a position to do just that."

Jon Higgins, Ketchum senior partner and CEO of international operations, said, "The Middle East is an increasingly important region for our clients, with an excellent growth trajectory, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest with a partner. We're excited to be partnering with a firm that has demonstrated a first-class approach to public relations. As leading companies and brands, our clients have a growing need for creative, business-driving public relations expertise to meet the demands of this burgeoning public relations market. As Ketchum Raad Middle East, we can deliver. We look forward to working together to help our clients communicate effectively across the MENA region, and globally, to help them reach their business goals."

Building on the excellent collaboration already under way on behalf of several clients, Ketchum Raad Middle East will work closely to define a MENA expansion strategy. The two partners bring resources and assets to a market with a demonstrated appetite for strategic PR. They offer best-in-class services in corporate communications, crisis and change management, and consumer (brand) marketing, along with a commitment to high-caliber talent to service a portfolio of some of the world's top brands and corporations in the automotive, aviation, technology, professional services, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors.

"The fit is perfect and the timing is right for TBWA\RAAD\PR to take our well-established relationship with Ketchum to the next level," said Ramzi Raad, TBWA\RAAD chairman and CEO. "More and more we see companies in the MENA region placing public relations at the heart of their marketing programs, and the new company of Ketchum Raad Middle East is ideally placed to offer client advice and insight."

"Our TBWA\RAAD\PR team adds a significant level of expertise across Arab markets and a professional approach that aligns exceptionally well with Ketchum's collaborative culture and creativity," said Hania Tabet, managing director, Ketchum Raad Middle East. "We look forward to offering our clients additional strategic and creative thinking and greater access to international markets."

About Ketchum

A communications innovator, Ketchum ranks among the largest global public relations agencies, operating in more than 50 countries. With five global practices – Brand Marketing, Corporate, Healthcare, Food & Nutrition, and Technology – and specialty capabilities that include Access Communications (high- and consumer-tech PR), Concentric Communications (experiential marketing, events and meetings), MMG (clinical trial recruitment), Ketchum Global Research Network, Ketchum Pleon Change (change and workplace communications) and Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, Ketchum leverages its marketing and corporate communication expertise to build brands and reputations for clients. For more information on Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), visit www.ketchum.com.  

About TBWA\RAAD

TBWA Worldwide (www.tbwa.com) creates Disruptive ideas expressed through Media Arts for global clients, including ABSOLUT, adidas, Apple, Beiersdorf, GSK, Henkel, Infiniti, Mars, McDonald's, Michelin, Nissan, Pernod Ricard, Samsonite, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Airlines, Sony PlayStation and Visa. TBWA is ranked as a Top 10 worldwide advertising agency, and was recognized by Advertising Age in 2010 as the "Best International Network of the Decade." Fast Company Magazine placed TBWA 24th on its 2009 list of "The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies" and as an Innovation All-Star in 2010. TBWA has 267 offices in 77 countries, and approximately 11,000 employees worldwide.

SOURCE Ketchum



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