Up to the Minute: Cult opens U.S. hub in Las Vegas

Plus, Havas named media AOR for Metro, Food Basics in Ontario and Craft PR wins the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
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New business and other news

Calgary-based agency Cult has launched a U.S. hub in Las Vegas and appointed former marketing executive Cathy Tull to lead as managing director of southwest operations. Tull was CMO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the destination marketing organization for Southern Nevada, between 2005 to 2019, where she oversaw some of its experiential work with WestJet. Outside of Calgary and Las Vegas, Cult, which has done work for Harley Davidson, IBM, The Home Depot and Zappos, has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Phoenix and Indianapolis. Last month, it acquired Nova Scotia-based Red Dragon Marketing.

Toronto’s Craft Public Relations will lead media relations and influencer outreach for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as its newly appointed public relations AOR. The assignment will see Craft provide PR support for the 2019 fair, to be held from Nov. 1 to 10 at the Exhibition Place in Toronto. With a 12-person team, Craft also handles work for Nintendo of Canada, Moosehead Breweries, Second Cup Limited, Arterra Wines Canada and Travelzoo. It recently picked up new assignments from Monogram Appliances and OkCupid.

Lucid Communications, a PR shop specializing in “sustainable and conscious” brands with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles (and satellite teams in Montreal, Vancouver and New York), will handle both Canadian and U.S. media relations for Logan & Finley, an eco-conscious general store in Toronto, after signing with the company last month. The PR agency also recently won a mandate with skincare line La Ceiba. Lucid has previous led efforts for Green Beauty, PC Green, Rexall’s Be.Better line, Stray & Wander, Province Apothecary, Label, ANARA Hemp Denim, Basd Body Care, Erin Tracy Bridal and Fine Jewellery and Mini Mioche.

Media

A new industry group was born at Cannes this year. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media, founded by the World Federation of Advertisers and championed by the ANA CMO Growth Council, enlists a group of the world’s most prolific advertisers, agency groups, media companies and industry associations to collaborate and address the challenges in current digital media environments, with a focus on how to protect brands. GroupM global EVP of brand safety John Montgomery spoke to Media in Canada about how the group came to be and what it has on the agenda (for subscribers only).

Sources tell Media in Canada that Metro and its sister discount banner, Food Basics, have picked Havas as their new media AOR in Ontario. Meanwhile, incumbent agency Touché retains the business in Quebec (for subscribers only).

Music streaming service Spotify has added new podcast listener targeting options aimed at helping advertisers reach the platform’s free user-base (for MiC subscribers only). Recent Warc research suggests that podcast listeners don’t mind being interrupted by ads or sponsorship messages, giving Spotify more opportunity to capitalize on its growing audience.