Agencies face uncertain year

If the early days of 1995 are indicative of a trend, the coming year is shaping up as a roller coaster ride for Canadian ad agencies.Two new top creative positions have opened up at Toronto shops over the past week, and...

If the early days of 1995 are indicative of a trend, the coming year is shaping up as a roller coaster ride for Canadian ad agencies.

Two new top creative positions have opened up at Toronto shops over the past week, and at least two leading multinationals are expected to have new presidents in place by the end of the year.

This adds to the existing vacancy at Young & Rubicam created by Rick Davis, who left after seven years to become creative director of MacLaren Lintas.

Many expect that as these positions are filled, others will open, leading to the biggest shuffling of senior people since the recession brought relative calm to the usually brisk exchange of people among ad agencies.

The two recent creative openings are at:

- Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, Toronto, where creative director Joe McDonagh has announced his departure for the agency’s Los Angeles office.

McDonagh will take over as creative head in l.a., the headquarters of Saatchi’s Toyota account. He had been in Canada for two and a half years.

- BCP, Toronto, where creative director Marlene Hore is said to be leaving after about nine months with the agency.

Before that, Hore was national creative director of J. Walter Thompson in Canada.

On the ceo front, Grey Canada is expected to announce the arrival of a new president some time this year.

Current President and ceo Ev Elting has let it be known he would like to retire from the agency in 1996, exactly 20 years after starting with the agency in Canada, and the year he turns 60.

A New York-based executive recruiter has been working on finding Elting’s replacement since late last year, and a story making the rounds suggests that a candidate was found from within the Toronto agency community.

Elting confirms that Grey’s priority, and, indeed, its corporate policy is to install local citizens as ceos of Grey offices around the world.

And at multinational McCann-Erickson, it is no secret that Jacques Duval, president of the agency’s Montreal office and head of the agency operation in Canada, is out to rebuild the Toronto agency.

Meanwhile at Ogilvy & Mather, the Toronto office has a new creative director.

He is Steve Landsberg, who comes to Canada from the New York office of Wells Rich Greene/BDDP, where he was senior vice-president creative director.

The post had been vacant since last July.