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Grey Group creative chief behind controversial I Sea app parts company with agency

shabazThe Grey Group creative chief behind the controversial I Sea app which was called out as a fake last year has left the agency.

Ali Shabaz, Grey’s Southeast Asia chief creative officer, has been with the agency for seven years but is understood to be relocating to Dubai within the WPP network.

Sources told Mumbrella he had been “let go”.

The agency closed ranks late last week with Mumbrella told Shabaz was in meetings in the Singapore office, while subsequent enquiries about his departure went unanswered by its regional head of PR and communications.

The silence about his departure from Grey is perhaps predictable.

The agency was mired in controversy last year when its I Sea app, which supposedly enabled people to scan the Mediterranean ocean for stranded boats carrying fleeing migrants, was called out as a fake.

Grey reluctantly returned the Bronze Lions it won at Cannes, with  global head of communications Owen Dougherty saying the agency had been the victim of “unwarranted, unfair, unrelenting attacks by unnamed bloggers.”

It was also withdrawn from the Ad Stars shortlist.

Prior to joining Grey, Shabaz was executive creative director at JWT Singapore, a role he held for more than five and a half years.

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