Minutes of the Meeting – X-Media Working Group

Meeting held on December 14, 2020

Attended by:

  • Asad Rehman, Unilever
  • Omar Katerji, Ferrero
  • Ibrahim Kadiri, Google
  • Tony Evans, Facebook
  • Shadi Kandil, IPG/MCN
  • Houda Kousa, Archers
  • Amine Sadik, P&G
  • Ravi Rao, GroupM
  • Walid Yared, Choueiri Group


  • Quick Final Alignment on the RFP
  • List of Partners who have shown an intent, as well as the Shortlist criteria – Houda
  • Next Steps to the RFP process – Houda
  • Learnings on Funding Approaches from the KSA Project – Shadi Kandil
  • Discussion on the UAE Funding Approach

Key Discussion and Action Points:

Alignment on the Brief:

Tony Evans of Facebook made the point about the lack of alignment on the RFP i.e.it is not an all- media solution. It was clarified by the committee members that we have the same vision as our ultimate goal.  The Committee, however, chose a certain starting point for this the journey. This too in a market that has no previous history of cross-media measurement whatsoever. It was also highlighted that while WFA have an articulated vision, their lead markets of US and UK are also building their own roadmaps vs their respective priorities and none of them are able to land this holistic vision from the get go. It is also clear from WFA that both the pilot markets will take at least through to mid-2022 to implement any pilot solution.

Partner Shortlist for the RFP Process:

Houda took us through a snapshot of Partners and key points from their Letters of Intent. We must bear in mind not only a partner’s ability to provide a solution, but also the ability to innovate, as well as to bring trust and credibility alongside their solution. Following is the list of partners we shortlisted to send out the RFP:

  • Project Audience
  • Nielsen
  • Reality Mine (with a caveat that it will be up to them to collaborate with any of the big vendors, if they chose to do so.)
  • Immetrica (with a caveat on making sure their solution is privacy compliant and future-fit)
  • Firebolt
  • Kantar
  • Aqilliz
  • Oracle Data Cloud

It was also discussed that some of these partners will most likely not be able to provide a holistic solution but may form part of an industry solution. It was also discussed that we will engage with a few of these participants with an ambition to learn from the novelty factor in their solutions.

Next Steps to the RFP Process:

  • Houda will send out the RFP to the wider Audience Measurement Committee to get their consent to issue it to the partners. The intended date to issue this RFP is December 17, 2020.
  • We discussed that the Cross-Media Group (with as much participation as possible) will hold an open Q&A with participating vendors. Once the RFP is issued, Charlotte will send out an invite for an hour each with the participating vendors. We may all need to block either a full day, or two halves of two days to do this.
  • We also said that all Cross-Media Committee members will attend the Presentations from the vendors. We also said that we will invite the wider Audience Measurement Committee to attend – whoever wishes to and is able to.
  • We also highlighted that ABG Board have committed to providing an internal auditor to help us audit the RFP process. Houda is to write a brief description of what is needed from the auditors.

Learning from KSA Project:

Shadi shared the learnings on the KSA Approach. Two key components of learnings:

  • How the project was funded from a Publisher lead vs Vendor lead model
  • How the discussion on Funding vs Financing the Seed Capital Investment was managed

It was clear that we will likely need some sort of combination of the two approaches and will need more time to deliberate on the approach.

Discussion on Funding Approach:

  • Asad highlighted that our discussion seems to be centered around three distinct areas:
    • How will the ongoing solution be structured from a legal entity perspective?
    • How will the ongoing solution be financed?
    • How will the project be governed and audited?
  • We shared the collective results from the data gathered from the working group that gave us a basic idea of what the size of the UAE Industry is, and what is it that we may be able to finance as an industry.
  • We highlighted approaches that could be used to govern, fund and structure the industry solution. We agreed that we will need more time to discuss this in depth and draw out a much more extensive approach.
  • Ibrahim highlighted that we would need an overarching set of guiding principles that will form a basis of this approach
  • We also talked about the need to quickly sort out the financing of Phases 3 and 4 of the Project. Houda agreed to help build the basic structure of what is needed. The members who will collaborate with her on this will be Shadi, Tony and Ibrahim. This funding request will then be submitted to the Audience Measurement Committee, and for further approval to the ABG Board.
  • We agreed that we will meet within the first two weeks of Jan to go through the two subjects.




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