AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, media and advertising briefs [AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates]
(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 12--CAPITAL MSL EYEING REGIONAL EXPANSION OPPORTUNITIES: UK-headquartered public relations agency Capital MSL is looking to expand its presence across the Gulf region, after it posted 47 percent growth in 2012, Campaign ME has reported. "We're number one in India, number one in China, and globally we're number three. That's why this region is so important for us, because we're smaller here than we are elsewhere in the world," said president of MSL Group EMEA, Anders Kempe. The firm, which currently has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, also has a team on the ground in Saudi Arabia, although the office is not yet operational, according to the managing director of Capital MSL Mena, Fran McElwaine. "We've got interesting opportunities in Bahrain, which will possibly be the next place we'll go, and then there's Qatar," added McElwaine.
IRAN TIGHTENS GRIP ON WEB ACCESS: The head of the Iranian parliament's information and communications technology committee has said the government has blocked the use of most "virtual private networks," which many Iranians use to get around an extensive government internet filter, Reuters has reported. "Within the last few days illegal VPN ports in the country have been blocked," said Ramezanali Sobhani-Fard. "Only legal and registered VPNs can from now on be used." The move, however, may also have inadvertently cut off access to widely used sites such as Yahoo and Google, Sobhani-Fard said, adding that parliament would study the issue more this week.
WORDPRESS TARGETS SMALL BUSINESSES WITH NEW AD-FREE HOSTING PLAN: WordPress has launched a new service that caters to small businesses needing a domain, storage, and a wide selection of themes for building a website, PC World has reported. The ad-free WordPress Business package includes site hosting, a free domain, live support (via chat, or email when chat isn't available), unlimited storage, and the client's choice of unlimited premium themes.
FACEBOOK ACQUIRES STORYLANE: Facebook has acquired the team behind social network website focused around telling stories, Storylane, for an undisclosed sum, Cnet has reported. Storylane founder Jonathan Gheller said that Facebook isn't buying any of the site's user-generated content. Both Yahoo and Facebook were interested in acquiring the company which was launched last October.
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