Hill&Knowlton Strategies Canada has appointed Michelle McLean to the position of vice-president and group leader of its communications unit in Ottawa. She has spent the last three years as vice-president of public affairs at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She previously worked for Hill&Knowlton from 2008 to 2010 as a health specialist in its Ottawa public affairs group. Prior to that, she spent four years as a lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.
The Toronto-based Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms has appointed David Gordon to the position of chair. Gordon is the managing partner of Cohn & Wolfe Toronto. He succeeds Carol Levine, managing partner of Energi Public Relations, who has held the position for the last three years. The council is a trade organization representing approximately 25 public relations agencies in Canada.
Toronto-based Cundari Group has appointed Andrew Simon to the position of chief creative officer. For the past two years Simon has been a partner and chief creative officer at Blammo Worldwide of Toronto. Prior to that, he was executive creative director at DDB Canada. "We couldn't be more excited to have someone of Andrew's caliber join our winning team," said agency chairman Aldo Cundari. "Not only does he bring incredibly impressive creative credentials, but he also has a keen business mind that will be a huge benefit to our clients."
Montreal-based Reader's Digest Magazines Canada is preparing to launch a new cooking publication called Taste of Home Canada Magazine. The 120-page quarterly publication will be available in English and French when it debuts in June. The content will consist primarily of recipes divided into sections on entertaining, quick meals, contest entries and personal selections from the staff. "Taste of Home Canada will be filled with recipes featuring familiar, everyday ingredients, beautiful photos and easy-to-follow instructions," said Robert Goyette, editor-in-chief at Reader's Digest Magazines. "The publication is completely unique in its nature, featuring recipes that have been submitted by and for Canadian home cooks, filling an otherwise empty niche in the market across the country, a formula which has been successful for the US edition."
Kuration Media Group of Toronto has launched a new online publication called Crew Magazine. The publication, located at , is aimed primarily at gay Canadians. The site will feature daily original content. "We are creating a daily destination for anyone interested in content that goes beyond the usual sex and politics of gay media to examine all elements of a sophisticated, modern lifestyle, gay or straight," said publisher Peter Coish. "Mainstream advertisers want to reach gays as they are an affluent, taste-making audience. But unfortunately they have few quality options. Crew Magazine has been launched to fill that void." The launch of the site is being promoted with an online video ad called "God Made a Gay Man," developed by Cloud AdAgents. The ad is a parody of the recent Dodge Ram Superbowl commercial "God Made a Farmer."
TC Media of Montreal has signed an advertising sales representation agreement with La Terre de chez nous for its four new regional agricultural monthly magazines. The four publications cover the regions of western, central and easter Quebec, as well as the Montérégie. They will debut this week. "With the help of seasoned local reporters and contributors who are well-established in their communities, these new publications will showcase the dynamic realities of agriculture in the regions," said André Savard, Manager of La Terre de chez nous. "It was a natural step for us to set up a business partnership with TC Media, the leader in local and regional information in Quebec, as it gives us the benefit of experienced local sales teams who are thoroughly familiar with their local communities."
Nadir Mohamed, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-based Rogers Communications, will retire from the company in January 2014. Mohamed joined Rogers in 2000. He was president and CEO of Rogers Wireless from 2001 to 2005, when he become president and COO of Rogers Communications Group. He became president and CEO in 2009 following the death of company founder Ted Rogers. The board of directors will now form a committee and retain a firm to conduct a search for his replacement. Edward Rogers and Melinda Rogers have indicated that they will not take the position.
Astral Mix has appointed Kim Joubert to the position of group manager in Montreal. She previously worked at Cossette, first as an assistant media planner, then as an account manager for clients including the General Motors Dealers Association, the Quebec Ministry of Tourism and newspaper La Presse.
Montreal-based accounting and financial advisory firm Richter has retained DDB Public Relations as the PR agency of record for its new office in Toronto. Richter, formerly known as RSM Richter Chamberland, expanded into the city in December via a merger with SBLR Chartered Accountants. DDB's assignment includes support for this expansion and recent rebranding, as well as the development of a communications plan intended to raise awareness of the office in the Toronto market. DDB has been agency of record for Richter in English Canada since the fall of last year, when the agency handled public relations for the merger. "Richter has experienced tremendous success in the Montreal market for over 85 years," said Eve Laurier, vice-president of strategic relations at Richter. "We knew to establish the new Richter brand in Toronto, we needed an agency that could bring strategically strong creative solutions to our thought leadership efforts." Richter also makes use of the firms Cohn & Wolfe and Bleublancrouge.
Toronto-based mortgage brokerage Mortgage Architects has launched a new advertising campaign called "Broker Driven." The print and online campaign focuses on the services that a mortgage broker can provide. The creative features various employees of Mortgage Architects describing whey they joined the firm, as well as CEO Ron Swift outlining the principles of the company. The initiative also includes trade show materials and special events. "There is no better way to communicate the value of our network than through voices of our brokers," said Alice Chan, senior vice-president of Mortgage Architects. "Our brokers are the greatest testament to our success. Conveying the culture and personality of Mortgage Architects to potential broker recruits is fundamental to attracting new talent to our network."
AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft have expanded their joint advertising program into Canada. The three companies launched the program in 2011 as a way to jointly sell their non-reserved online display advertising inventory. Through this expansion, Canadian advertisers will be able to buy advertising on online properties owned and operated by AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Toronto-based KnexxLocal has launched a new smartphone application called Instamonial intended to assist local businesses with their online marketing. Business user can take photographs of their products or work and email them to a customer for feedback. Once reviewed, the images can also be posted to a website or to social media services. "Word-of-mouth referrals are the single most important tool that local businesses can use to grow their business," said Paul Chen, CEO of KnexxLocal. "Today, with the launch of Instamonial, we're giving local businesses a way to use social media to grow those referrals in a way that wasn't possible before. By enabling one-click sharing of customer references across social media channels, Instamonial super-charges word-of-mouth marketing."
Thornley Fallis of Toronto has appointed Jennifer Spencer to the position of vice-president. She specializes in reputation, crisis and issues management, as well as stakeholder relations and citizen engagement. Spencer was the founder of Veritas Communications. She has also worked for National Public Relations, Kerbel Communications, Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. She has also done work for Canadian Blood Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Montreal-based out-of-home company Zoom Media has formed an agreement with restaurant chain Boston Pizza, based in Richmond, BC, to place advertising displays in its 25 locations in Quebec. Zoom Media expects these displays to primarily reach 25- to 54-year-old consumers in both the sit-down and sports bar areas of the restaurants. "We are very excited to begin this new partnership with Boston Pizza," said Éric Fortin, vice-president of operations and development at Zoom Media. "Timing could not be better. With the return of NHL hockey, advertisers can benefit from the increased traffic coming from excited sports enthusiasts ready for game night at Boston Pizza."
Magazine publisher ParentsCanada Group has signed a distribution agreement with pregnancy clothing retailer Thyme Maternity. During the multi-year agreement, the company's Best Wishes and Mon Bebe magazines will be exclusively distributed through Thyme Maternity retail locations. The maternity clothing chain will, in return, conduct a promotion program through ParentsCanada and Parentscanada.com. Thyme Maternity is a subsidiary of Reitmans Canada. ParentsCanada Group is a division of Family Communications. "It is a natural fit," said Don Swinburne, president of Family Communications. "With more brand decisions being made prenatally, we were looking for a unique distribution partner for Best Wishes and Mon Bebe magazines. Each of these sixty-year-old plus publications has just been converted editorially to pregnancy journals."
According to the results of a survey released by the Toronto-based Canadian Women's Foundation, 90% of Canadians feel that exposure to "unrealistic sexy imagery of women" in advertising is a problem for girls growing up in Canada. Of these respondents, 62% called the issue a major problem, while 28% referred to it as a minor problem. In addition, 88% of respondents feel that exposure to such imagery in television and movies also contributes to problems for girls. "When girls have constant exposure to unrealistic images of sexualized women, they become critical about their bodies and may start to believe their main value comes from their appearance, rather than their intelligence or other strengths," said Beth Malcolm, director of the Girls' Fund program at the foundation. "This can lead to problems such as eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression." The online survey was conducted by Angus Reid.
Paris-based research company Ipsos has appointed deputy CEO Pierre Le Manh to the addition position of CEO of Ipsos North America. He will also remain chairman and CEO of Ipsos Marketing. He has previously held positions including chairman for the central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa regions and CEO of Ipsos Europe. Prior to joining the company in 2005, Le Manh was CEO of Consodata. He replaces Jim Smith, who has become a special advisor to co-presidents Jean-Marc Lech and Didier Truchot.
Toronto-based e-book reader company Kobo has appointed Michael Tamblyn to the position of chief content officer. He will be responsible for the company's content acquisition and sales, its publisher and industry relations, and the localized merchandising activities for its online and mobile services. Tamblyn has worked for Kobo since the launch of the company. He previously oversaw the its online merchandising and content management, and headed the launch of the Kobo Writing Life self-publishing service. Prior to joining Kobo, Tamblyn was CEO of BookNet Canada. He was also co-founder of online bookstore Bookshelf.ca and vice-president of online operations at Indigo.
Intact Insurance of Toronto has retained Cossette as its marketing communications agency of record. The assignment includes national integrated marketing in traditional and digital media in English- and French-language markets. The agency will promote Intact's auto, home and business insurance products. "Intact Insurance's marketing team has been considering new approaches towards building its brand, enhancing the attractiveness of its offer and promoting greater engagement and loyalty with its customers," said Monika Federau, senior marketing vice-president at Intact. "As a result, we have been looking for an agency with expertise across a variety of marketing disciplines and the ability to support our coast-to-coast activities. Cossette impressed us with its breadth of experience, its offer of collaborative creativity, and its commitment and passion to work together as one, integrated and closely aligned agency and client team."
Corby Distilleries of Toronto has hired Hill&Knowlton Strategies Canada as its public relations agency of record. The assignment includes national media relations for brands including Absolut, Wiser's, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Malibu, Havana Club, Stoneleigh and Jacob's Creek. The work will also include corporate media relations, product launches, influencer relations and other elements. "Hill&Knowlton provides a strategic acumen that fit extremely well with the Corby Distilleries vision for our brands," said Jeff Agdern, vice-president of marketing at Corby Distilleries. "The team's enthusiasm in regards to our brands and passion for the work they do has been evident from the start. We're excited about the relationship and look forward to bringing the brands to life this year and beyond."