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WE'RE HERE! WE'RE QUEER! WE'RE SURFING FOR FREE A Canadian Web portal targeting gay Web surfers is using free Internet access to market its services. QueerCanada.com, a Halifax-based organization that bills itself as 'Canada's online queer community' has partnered with 1stUp.com...


A Canadian Web portal targeting gay Web surfers is using free Internet access to market its services. QueerCanada.com, a Halifax-based organization that bills itself as ‘Canada’s online queer community’ has partnered with 1stUp.com to offer free Internet access to its members. QueerCanada.com’s users will get unlimited free Internet access in exchange for allowing advertisers to send them targeted advertising messages. Queer.com launched in February last year offering chat, personal ads, Web-based e-mail, shopping, free home pages and newsletters to the Canadian gay community. The move is the latest in a growing trend toward using advertising to fund free unlimited Internet access. Late last year, Calgary-based Cybersurf Corp. and Toronto-based TurboShuttle launched free advertiser-supported Internet access in Toronto.


Toronto-based Courtesy Telecom is giving new meaning to the term ‘telemarketing’. The company is not selling over the phone, but rather is installing advertising-supported courtesy phones in restaurants, bars, gyms and pool halls throughout Toronto. The concept is similar to that of washroom advertising, in that captive consumers have nothing more interesting to look at while they’re otherwise occupied. The service is popular with restaurant owners who receive a small fee for having the phone in their establishment. The company has installed about 40 phones throughout the Greater Toronto Area and hopes to increase that to 500 before expanding the program across Canada.


Retailers are missing an opportunity to help consumers on the Internet find a special and meaningful gift, says a new study by Toronto-based InnerViews. The company recently completed a comprehensive post-holiday online shopping study. ‘Time pressed holiday shoppers were likely to turn to the Web with a ‘mission’ to find and order a specific gift,’ the study says. ‘Many retailers are missing opportunities to inspire the online shopper who is unsure of the perfect item or gift and to create meaningful points of difference between in-store and online experiences.’ Online shoppers are still wary of using the Net to shop, the study found. Even consumers who are comfortable shopping for items such as books, CDs or toys online expressed trepidation about shopping for other items. ‘For e-tailers, the challenge to entice someone who may already be shopping online can be even more difficult than seducing the ‘virgin’ e-buyer,’ the report says.

Got a bead on a new trend? Drop us a line and let us know about it. Send your ideas by e-mail to jgray@brunico.com

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.