Up to the Minute: BICOM makes an acquisition

Plus, 88Creative rebrands, Vice launches its agency in Canada and more news you may have missed.
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Hires, promotions and other news

Diane Laberge, former director of marketing for Dove and skincare brands at Unilever Canada, has joined startup League as its director of brand marketing. League is a Canadian startup attempting to offer employers an alternative to traditional healthcare plans, focused on offering a personalized, goals-focused mobile platform. Laberge has been tasked with building awareness of the League brand and bringing its positioning to market with a content strategy aimed at employers. 

Kaiser Lachance Communications has promoted Janine Allen to senior vice president, also making her a partner. She will continue to act as general manager, a position she assumed last May. Allen joined the agency in 2015 after serving as senior director of marketing at Sears Canada for just under three years. Prior to that, she was a VP at Fleishman-Hillard.

Toronto-based content agency The Tite Group has added an account director. Candice Lennox has joined the agency from The Hive, where she worked on clients including Coca-Cola, Telefilm Canada, Weston Bakeries and the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. In her new role, she’s working on content for GoodLife Fitness, Microsoft and Girls Night Out Wines.

PR shop BICOM Communications has acquired Montreal marketing agency Boîte à Contenu. The move comes following the two agencies working together on integrated campaigns. The new services will now be under the leadership of Ashley Sivil, project manager for digital content and strategies at BICOM.

Toronto’s 88Creative has rebranded to Eighty-Eight, also announcing its new VP of business development. Fatima Zaidi joined the agency in December from ecommerce fashion company Rent Frock Repeat, where she was director of business development.

New business

Monsoon Communications has been selected by the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies as its agency of record for multicultural marketing. The assignment, which runs for a three-year period, began in January and will focus initially on digital and print media.

Zenergy Communications has been named agency of record for the British Council‘s public relations campaign for its 2017 arts and cultural events. The British Council connects Canadian organizations and individuals with others from the U.K. and other countries to share creative ideas and work on social innovation.

Media

John Boynton, former Aimia and Rogers Communications chief marketer, has been named the incoming president and CEO of Torstar, as well as publisher of the Toronto Star.

Vice Canada is beefing up its integrated media services team and has officially launched Virtue Canada, its full-service agency, with three new VP-level hires, including Badr El Fekkak, Wes Wolch and Scott Walker. The news follows the official launch of Virtue Worldwide in January in 30 markets.

Canadians are set to majorly ramp up their spending on headsets, software, games, media and all things related to virtual and augmented reality, with IDC reporting Canada is set to forecast $723 million on  augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) products and services in 2017 — an increase of more than 535% over last year.