One of the region’s most successful marketing pioneers, Edmond Moutran, has passed away
Posted on 2021 Feb,19  | By ArabAd's staff

One of the region’s most beloved and successful marketing figures, Edmond Moutran, founder and chairman of Memac Ogilvy, has passed away, following a heart attack. He was 77.

Edmond Moutran – aka Eddie to his friends and colleagues – is a well-reputed pioneer in the MENA communications industry, also renowned as the man who created many “firsts”.

Moutran was indeed the first Lebanese advertising professional to work and open shop in the Arabian Gulf. Arriving in Bahrain in 1973, he joined Intermarkets, the oldest advertising group in the Middle East, and set up the first regional office for the group.

In 1984, he began his own agency, Middle East Marketing and Communications, which became better known by its acronyms: MEMAC.

The founding of the company typifies Eddie as an entrepreneur with this strong willingness to take a risk and set up shop with four people, one client and just $13,000 of capital.

And succesful he was, as in 1986, an international dimension was added to MEMAC’s offering through an affiliation with Ogilvy & Mather.

Indeed, Memac entered in partnership with Ogilvy & Mather and 12 years later, following a minority equity ownership by Ogilvy, changed its name to Memac Ogilvy. Clients included American Express, Coca-Cola, Ikea, VW, Al Marai, BAT, IBM, Unilever, Al Jazeera (airline), Al Jazeera (TV station) and Arab Bank.

Eddie has worked tirelessly to grow his small agency into a business of formidable force that continuously innovated and drove the industry forward.

His outstanding entrepreneurial and leadership skills along with his drive to do good for the industry speak volume of his passion for advertising, which has earned him much respect and admiration from his peers.

The partnership between Memac and one of the world’s most successful agencies has transformed Memac Ogilvy into one of the network’s most influential and important markets.

Today, the creative and strategic regional agency powerhouse boasts 15 agencies in 9 countries with over 1,000 people serving 150 international, regional and local brands.

The success and legacy that Moutran has built with Memac Ogilvy is seldom seen in any market around the world.

After building a one-client, one-office company into one of the region’s most awarded agencies, he sold a majority share to Ogilvy in 2013.

In 2017, continuing its “Next Chapter” transformation journey, the global advertising agency announces a new organisational structure and a rebrand set to unify the company under one single identity. In September of the same year, and after 34 years as CEO, Moutran stepped down, leaving the position to Ogilvy’s EMEA Chief Digital Officer and 22-year company veteran, Patou Nuytemans, who has been replaced by David Fox this past month.

Moutran maintained his position as Executive Chairman of Memac Ogilvy, having served dual responsibilities since Memac’s inception in Bahrain in 1984.

Voted Man of the Year in 2001 by ArabAd Magazine and named Dubai Lynx Person of the Year in 2014, Eddie was always recognized for his outstanding professional and philanthropic contributions to the industry and society, and for having made significant contributions to advancing the reputation and profile of the communications industry in the MENA region.

There is no doubt, Eddie is a man who played a pivotal role in shaping the advertising industry of the Middle East and who will be greatly missed and always remembered.

Today, MENA advertising sector is mourning one of its most prominent figures. He was an icon in our industry and there are no words to cover how saddened by the news we at ArabAd are.

ArabAd team extends its warmest condolences to Eddie's close and greater family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.