Starcom appoints new P&G buying director

Chris Williams, the TV director for Starcom Mediavest in London, has agreed to join the agency's Dubai operation to run media buying for its key client Procter & Gamble.

His arrival, scheduled for mid-February, follows the recent departure of Hisham Tannir, managing director of Starcom Regional Markets, who had regional buying responsibility for P&G.

Williams has a long history of working on P&G brands, which include Crest, Pampers and Gillette.

He joined Starcom in 1994 and has worked internationally in markets such as Hong Kong and Scandinavia. Before joining Starcom he worked for UK broadcaster ITV.

Williams said his move was motivated by a desire to work in the fast growing Middle East market.

"A lot of advertisers are looking at the region and see it as a good opportunity to gain market share and invest," he told Campaign.

"I hope to bring some global knowledge to the region. It is a really dynamic, growing market and it's quite complex, given that I will be dealing with several different countries within the overall region."

Matt Blackborn, CEO of Publicis Groupe Media MENA, said Williams's vast experience on P&G would be invaluable.

"He will be a tremendous asset for us, and will have responsibility across the agency. He is very strong in relationship work, which is vital in this market.

"He will add an additional dimension in terms of our buying function. As and when people meters come up in the market, we have got someone who has been dealing in the field of measurement for many years."

Blackborn said he had been in discussion for some time with Starcom's London office, which had a management restructure in November last year. He added: "I am an importer of talent, not an exporter of talent."

Blackborn also revealed that Alex Saber, group trading director for Starcom Mediavest Group, and regional managing director of Mediavest, is to take on a more broad commercial director role. 

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