Publicis restructure continues as it merges Middle East PR brand into MSLGroup

LeoComm PR, the six-office Middle East agency owned by Publicis and formerly aligned with Leo Burnett, is to become part of MSLGroup, the global network's main PR operation.

LeoComm employs 50 people across bases in Beirut, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh. Clients include General Motors, Boston Consulting Group, Bupa and Samsung.

The LeoComm brand is set to disappear under the new structure, but its senior staff all remain in place. LeoComm boss Ajit Ramaswami becomes regional MD of MSLGROUP Middle East.

The change reverses the move made in 2012, when what was then called MS&L MENA re-branded to LeoComm to reflect its relationship with parent the Leo Burnett Group, moving away from alignment with MSLGroup.

It follows a reorganisation of the wider Publicis business at the end of 2015, and the appointment of a new MSLGroup CEO earlier that year.

Raja Trad, CEO of Publicis Communications Middle East and Africa, who previously oversaw Leo Burnett in the region, said: "In recent years, LeoComm PR has built a strong legacy of growth, one rooted in a powerful 'think global, act local' communications strategy. Today, the agency's new identity will help further crystallise this approach and cement its mission to deliver fully-integrated, all-encompassing public relations services."

MSLGroup firm CNC Network also has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, serving mostly corporate and public affairs clients. It remains a separate unit.

MSLGroup is the world's fifth biggest PR firm, according to PRWeek's Global Agency Business Report.

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