Krupski moves to Prism

Advertising executive Andy Krupski has gone from running the Canadian operations of one of the world's biggest multinational agencies, to a partner and the Toronto head of a Canadian-owned agency that after 16 years in business is getting envious glances from...

Advertising executive Andy Krupski has gone from running the Canadian operations of one of the world’s biggest multinational agencies, to a partner and the Toronto head of a Canadian-owned agency that after 16 years in business is getting envious glances from the ad agency establishment.

After about a dozen years of rising through the ranks of J. Walter Thompson to the role of president and the key person on the high-flying Pepsi-Cola account, Krupski is now vice-chairman and will run the Toronto operations of Prism Communications.

Krupksi is also reunited with Prism Chairman Elliott Ettenberg.

Krupski was Ettenberg’s client in the early 1980s in Montreal after Prism picked up promotional and package design work for Brooke Bond when Krupksi was group marketing manager on tea products and spices.

Off-and-on talks

The two kept in touch over the years and have had off-and-on talks about getting together for the past four.

‘The watch is going to change over the next few months,’ says Ettenberg, pointing out Krupksi will be joining a Toronto team that consists of President Alex Sakiz; Gary Hesketh, partner and vice-president of creative services; Michael Ezay, vice-president of client services; and Deborah Sharp, vice-president of media services.

‘Andy was a tough client and a tough competitor, and when you get an opportunity to work both with and against someone, you really get to know their strengths,’ Ettenberg says.

‘Andy’s ability to pick the right idea, and his savvy, will add to the natural evolution of this agency,’ he says.

‘More brain power’

‘With Andy on board, we can now apply more brain power to a client’s business than any other agency in this country.’

After years of developing its own approach to advertising, Ettenberg says Prism is now poised to begin exporting its systems to the u.s. market, and the company is beginning to explore ‘the nagging concern that we need a West Coast presence.’

With Krupski on board, Ettenberg says he will be freed to attend to such initiatives.

Technology

‘And, finally, it’s important in a radically changing technological world to have someone in the agency to stay on top of that,’ he says.

‘Right now, the information highway represents a dead end for agencies. We need to find a way to make it work for us.’

For Krupksi, the move represents a return to the basics that got him into the agency business in the first place.

‘I get to do what I really enjoy the most, and that is helping clients build their businesses, and participating in their success, and having fun again,’ he says.

Krupksi also believes the Prism system, which operates under the general description of ‘holistic advertising,’ represents a significant step towards answering the question of, ‘What do I get for my money in commercial communications?’

Makes sense

Krupski says in broad terms he feels Prism’s approach simply makes sense.

‘You set up clear, meaningful objectives, and then get compensated on the basis of performance against those objectives,’ he says.

And, in particular, Krupski feels Prism is closer to finding an answer to how communications work in the Canadian marketplace.

‘The difference [at Prism] is in the effort that is made to understand the Canadian consumer, and how that consumer is different, as opposed to making the consumer appear the same [as tends to be the case in global advertising approaches,]‘ he says.

Proprietary approach

Ettenberg says he feels the ‘essential flaw’ in the Canadian advertising business is the industry’s failure to develop a propriety advertising approach for this country that is geared towards Canadians and not North Americans.

‘We [Canadians and Americans] speak one language, but we are two people,’ he says.

‘We’re [at Prism] focussed on the relationship between the consumer and product or the brand, not just the consumer and the advertising, because advertising is just one of many means to an end.’