RIYADH--Interpublic Group has clinched Saudi petrochemical giant Sabic's global marcomms mandate, following a six-month competitive review.
The review, revealed last year by the Holmes Report, also featured WPP, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe. The quartet vied for a multimillion dollar global assignment that covers the full range of Sabic’s communications duties, including PR, crisis management, investor relations, advertising and media buying.
According to an announcement from Sabic today, IPG is charged with "telling the SABIC story in a powerful and compelling way across the globe."
"Whilst all invited global agencies are respected leaders of the field in their own right, a fair and rigorous technical and commercial evaluation and procurement process resulted in the selection of IPG as Sabic’s strategic global communications agency partner ‘one stop shop’ and the team best positioned to take us to the next level; strengthening and leveraging our brand worldwide," said Samir Al-Abdrabbuh, VP of corporate communications at Sabic.
IPG, said chairman and CEO Michael Roth, will staff the business through a dedicated new unit that features staff from McCann Enterprise and Weber Shandwick.
"We will be providing our services through a new IPG strategic business unit that reports to me with core strategic services accessing the best of talent across the group," said Roth. "This will bring Sabic best-in-class agency talent, coupled with strong resources easily accessible wherever they are in the world on a 24/7 basis.
The $89bn Saudi company has previously worked with Hill + Knowlton Strategies, and has also worked with ad agency McCann Erickson, along with local market partners such as Marketing Solutions in the Netherlands and Edelman in China.
Sabic is the world’s largest petrochemical company by market value, and operates in more than 40 countries worldwide, employing more than 40,000 people. It has been described by the FT as “one of the largest and most ambitious experiments by Gulf states to transform the use of vast energy reserves in a broader and deeper economy.”
The Riyadh-based company is the largest public company in the Arab world, and is expected to attract considerable institutional investment interest as the Saudi Arabian stock market liberalises its strict ownership rules. At present, the Saudi government owns 70 percent of Sabic.
The company has made three international acquisitions over the past decade, including GE’s plastics division, and is expected to step up global expansion, particularly in the US. Sabic produces chemicals, plastics, fertilizers and metals that are used in a wide range of goods.
The Sabic decision follows new Qatari chemical player Muntajat's decision to consolidate global marcomms activity with Ogilvy PR, as revealed by the Holmes Report earlier this week.