Grey Group Acquires Majority Stake in hug digital

By Erik Oster 

Grey Group has acquired a majority stake in Dubai-based independent digital agency hug digital.

The agency, which was founded in 2009 by chairman Oussama Jamal and CEO Tim Baker claims to be “one of the largest and fastest growing 360°digital agencies in the MENA region,” according to a press release announcing the acquisition. Among the agencies are offerings are digital and social media advertising, content and influencer marketing, digital research and analysis. The agency has arouned 145 full-time employees and services a client roster which includes Americana (Hardees, TGI Fridays, Krispy Kreme), Clorox, Al Futtaim automotive group (Toyota, Honda, Lexus), Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Tourism, HMD Nokia, Shell, and Nestle’s Maggi.

Going forward, Jamal and Baker will continue to lead hug digital while working closely with Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, on overall digital growth strategy for the region.

“Grey Group’s acquisition of hug digital enhances our leadership position in the MENA creative and digital space,” Singh said in a statement. “It underscores Grey’s commitment to expand our offering and deliver quality, value-added services to our clients.”

“We’re very excited about our new partnership,” Jamal added. “We are eager to take our digital expertise and knowledge of the MENA region and scale this with WPP and Grey Group. This acquisition will enable us to access resources that will expand our capabilities and accelerate our growth.”

“This deal cements seven years of hard collective work from our dedicated team. We are proud to become part of the world’s largest communications group, WPP, partner with Grey and continue our digital journey with the same enthusiasm as the day we started hug digital,” Baker said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Grey promoted Michael Houston to worldwide CEO, with Jim Heekin moving on to a role as executive chairman. Back in July, Revlon named Grey as creative agency of record for all of its brands, without a review.