McCann Toronto merges Foster

Streamlining efforts by McCann-Erickson North America have claimed a piece of Canadian advertising history and resulted in the sell-off of its Quebec City operation to three senior managers.McCann Toronto will fold sister firm Foster Advertising into it at the end of...

Streamlining efforts by McCann-Erickson North America have claimed a piece of Canadian advertising history and resulted in the sell-off of its Quebec City operation to three senior managers.

McCann Toronto will fold sister firm Foster Advertising into it at the end of the year.

As well, top managers of Marketel/McCann-Erickson in Quebec City – Noella Lavoie, vice-president, general manager; Robin Brisson, vice-president creative, and Carol Lefrancois, media director – will be the new owners of Marketel Quebec.

The agency will continue to have a strategic alliance, and share clients with Marketel Montreal and McCann.

Foster was bought by McCann-Erickson in 1988 from Sherwood Communications Group, Toronto.

In 1989, McCann-Erickson reduced its ownership of Foster to 49% and brought back Sherwood as partner, holding 51% of Foster in order to give the agency majority Canadian ownership and allow it to pick up federal government contracts.

The Foster name and the m-e/Sherwood partnership will be phased out at the end of the year when Canadian government contracts have been fulfilled.

All Foster staff have already moved into McCann offices and are continuing to work on Foster accounts such as Consumers Gas, Westin Hotel, Ontario Homebuilders’ Association, Thomson Newspapers, Apotex and the Government of India.

Lyons Tetley, a Foster client for 20 years, has not followed the team to its new offices because of a conflict with McCann’s Nestea account, a business held by the agency worldwide.

Tetley has not made a decision about what company will handle its media buying as yet, but Toronto’s Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners Advertising has been hired on a project basis to relaunch Tetley’s iced tea products.

New tv advertising from Foster for Tetley’s hot tea, round tea bags and flavored teas, is on-air and Nick Kilby, Tetley marketing manager, says any new work will also likely be handled on a project basis.

As part of m-e’s new lean look, it is also selling some of its agencies.

Harrod & Mirlin of Toronto hopes to have completed its buy-back from m-e.