Lee joins TAXI

John Lee, former president of Toronto-based Franklin Dallas Advertising, has teamed up with six-month-old TAXI L'Agence as vice-president and general manager responsible for its Montreal operation and a soon-to-be-opened Toronto office.Lee becomes a partner in the company, founded in Montreal in...

John Lee, former president of Toronto-based Franklin Dallas Advertising, has teamed up with six-month-old TAXI L’Agence as vice-president and general manager responsible for its Montreal operation and a soon-to-be-opened Toronto office.

Lee becomes a partner in the company, founded in Montreal in June by prominent Quebec creative director Paul Lavoie.

In addition to advertising, taxi also offers design services through TAXI Design, headed by creative director Jane Hope.

In fact, integrating design and advertising services into one complementary package is an important element in the way the new company is positioning itself.

Lavoie says his agency’s perspective on creativity is that it can come from anyone who dares think differently, and from any communications discipline.

‘It all boils down to the quality of the work, and that’s what taxi is all about,’ he says. ‘It is focussed on the work, as are clients.

‘Clients aren’t on the golf courses. They are in their offices looking for results. And the creativity that will deliver those results doesn’t necessarily come from copywriters and art directors.

‘They are people who can look at problems from a different point of view. It has to come from everyone in your organization.’

‘ `Doubt’ is a big word in our company,’ Lavoie says. ‘It is not a word to fear. There is good doubt and bad doubt. Doubt is constructive if it results in solutions and ideas, which is what clients are looking for today.’

Lavoie, whose sideways `M’ design for the launch of McDonald’s pizza has won him his most recent creative accolades, met Lee through a reciprocal arrangement taxi had set up with Franklin Dallas.

Originally, they were to represent each other exclusively in the respective French and English markets. But that turned into a project-by-project agreement.

Lee and Lavoie worked closely together on a joint taxi/Franklin Dallas pitch for the Mazda Amati launch.

Lee says the chemistry between himself and Lavoie was right and he says they share a common belief in building a company that is responsive to clients’ needs.

‘This [joining taxi] feels like it was meant to be,’ Lee says. MS