Minutes of the Meeting.

X-Media Committee

Nov 21, 2021

Attended by:

Asad Rehman (Unilever)

Houda Koussa(Archers)

Ibrahim Kadiri (Google)

Ravi Rao (GroupM)

Walid Yared (Choueiri Group)

Olivier Sage & Ziad Skaff (MBC)

Omar Katerji (Ferrero)

Nasheeda Nishe & Deo Menezes (Nishe)

Key Discussion Points:

  • The Committee started the meeting by talking about Google’s position regarding the current voting process and Google’s engagement with the UAE Government and UAE broadcasters. 
  • Google reiterated their findings that at the time of the meeting, the UAE Government has not communicated a position regarding measurement suppliers, nor did the Google Government Affairs team find evidence regarding a position of the UAE broadcasters on the matter
  • It was discussed that Google has not engaged with the Government or broadcaster on behalf of the ABG and will not do so unless Google and the ABG explicitly agree to it
  • It was also suggested that any outreach sought for any clarification to any of the X-Media committee member organizations should first be routed to the representatives of those organizations on the committee
  • We agreed that we will seek the ABG Board’s guidance and request them to conduct any formal outreach to the UAE Government
  • We also recapped the process that this committee has so far:
    • Voted on the solutions three times based on the facts at hand at each stage of the process. The outcome of the 3 votes has been different at those three occasions due to the varied nature of facts at hand.
    • Considered the UAE broadcaster’s concern on under-representation if the project is commissioned to a partner with bigger business interest in other Pan Arab broadcasters.
    • Has considered this concern and invited the partners to collaborate with each other – which one of them refused to, and the other partially agreed to – essentially making this idea of the collaboration redundant.
    • One of the partners has submitted a revised proposal, alongside commercials which necessitated the third vote on partner selection.
  • Our Process Auditors Nishe and Co presented the outcome of the third vote – as per the attached deck.  
  • The third vote was anonymous and done through a process from committee members straight to the auditors without any of the committee members knowing who had voted for which partner. The outcome of the vote sees the committee split in three groups:
    • People who refused to vote and suggested that in absence of lack of any government or broadcaster concern, we should stick to the last vote – Two votes
    • People who voted in favor of a POC by both partners – Two Votes. There is also a double count of a vote that has voted for two POCs – and in absence of which voted for a particular partner
    • People who voted for each of the partners
  • The committee discussed whether double counting of the vote is good governance, and whether we should ask the person who has voted for both the Two POCs and for one of the partners to cast a single vote. We did not reach a conclusion on that.
  • The Committee also discussed the possibility of two POCs by both the vendors – thought we have not had sufficient deliberation on the subject to recommend or reject a two POC approach.

Key Actions:

  • We will do one final outreach to both the partners asking them “if they are willing to do a free POC regardless of the outcome, and regardless of the decision of ABG appointing them or not. And if they are not willing to do that, what will it cost of the POC be”. Asad will write to both the partners with a cc to our auditors and Charlotte.
  • We all now feel that we need to take this decision to 1) the wider audience committee, and 2) the ABG Board.
  • It was agreed that we will present the outcome to the ABG board in the presence of a minimum of two Committee members and our auditors, and seek their guidance on:
    • The decision to be made in view of the above facts as well as the answer by the partners to the above question.
    • Once the decision has been made, an outreach to the UAE Government on any concerns they might have on the appointment of the select partner



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