Events and updates

WPP and Tihama enter into two new ventures to extend their existing partnership

 28 June 2021

WPP announces that it will enter into two new ventures in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region with Tihama For Advertising Marketing and Public Relations Holding JSC (“Tihama”) to simplify current structures, reduce complexity for clients and provide a solid base for further growth.

  • WPP and Tihama have agreed to establish a new joint venture company, ICG Saudi Arabia, which will provide a range of communications and media services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through client-facing agency brands. WPP will own 70% of the joint venture company and Tihama will own 30%. The initial operations of ICG will serve clients through the following brands: Ogilvy, MediaCom, Mindshare, Wavemaker and Grey. It is envisaged more brands will be added as new opportunities arise.
  • At the same time, WPP and Tihama have agreed that, following the 2018 global merger of J. Walter Thompson (“JWT”) and Wunderman to create Wunderman Thompson, they will formally bring together the existing Wunderman and JWT operations across the MENA region to create Wunderman Thompson MENA, established in Bahrain. As well as operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Wunderman Thompson MENA will have offices in Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. Tihama was a founding shareholder in JWT MENA and remains a significant shareholder, with a 25% stake in Wunderman Thompson MENA.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said:

“We are delighted to expand our long-standing partnership with Tihama in this important region, and to simplify our legacy structures. We look forward to providing our clients across MENA with simple, integrated solutions that deliver the best of our agencies’ services in communications, experience, commerce and technology.”

Abdulkarim Almaayouf, Board Member and Managing Director, Tihama, said:

“We are excited that our long term relationship with WPP is continuing and strengthening as we enter into these new ventures. The Wunderman Thomson merged business will offer clients a new and exciting range of services with cutting edge digital expertise. ICG Saudi will provide a new vehicle for WPP to bring more of its brands into Saudi Arabia, a key market in the MENA region.  Marketing and communication is undergoing rapid transformation as part of KSA’s Vision 2030 strategy.  WPP and Tihama will be able to contribute towards the success of Vision 2030 using knowledge transfer to help develop and strengthen local talent.”

With over 2,500 employees and almost 300 million USD in revenue in the Middle East and North Africa, WPP works with a wide range of global and local clients across the region.

About WPP

WPP is a creative transformation company. We use the power of creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.

WPP has 100,000 employees worldwide with 17.9 billion USD in revenue.

About Tihama

Tihama is the oldest listed group in the media sector on the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange (Tadawul). It operates across the Kingdom and regionally in the advertising, media production, bookstores, travel retail and education sectors.

Further information

Niken Wresniwiro niken.wresniwiro@wpp.com

Grahame Murray g.murray@tihama.com

Mazen Al Asmari   m.alasmari@tihama.com

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