Movers & Shakers

CLIENTS: Rogers Video has promoted Hubert Wat to director of marketing. Wat was previously manager of advertising and promotions for the Vancouver-based company, which has 230 stores. Small Fry Snack Foods, the Kitchener, Ont.-based maker of Humpty Dumpty potato chips,...


Rogers Video has promoted Hubert Wat to director of marketing. Wat was previously manager of advertising and promotions for the Vancouver-based company, which has 230 stores.

Small Fry Snack Foods, the Kitchener, Ont.-based maker of Humpty Dumpty potato chips, has promoted Lynda Murray to VP marketing. She joined the company in 1998 as director of marketing. has announced that Rob MacLean is taking the reins as president. is a subsidiary of Toronto-based Exclamation Inc., an Internet-focused venture capital firm. MacLean joins from Canadian Airlines International, where he was VP of North American sales.


David Leonard is returning to Palmer Jarvis DDB. Formerly director of marketing and communications at Canadian Airlines International, he has been appointed PJDDB’s senior VP, group account director. He’ll be heading up the Vancouver-based agency’s work with McDonald’s in Western Canada. Prior to joining Canadian, Leonard spent five years at Palmer Jarvis.

Bruce Claassen, chair of the Genesis Group, is assuming the role of CEO of Genesis Media, following the recent departure of David Stanger, who worked in the company’s Vancouver office. Tom Batho, the company’s COO in Toronto, also left the company. Batho and Stanger haven’t announced their landing pad yet.

Howard Alstad has joined Lanyon Phillips Communications as VP, executive art director. He comes to the Vancouver agency from Toronto-based Avion Films, where he was a director.

Richard Groves, Kim Koster and Karen Tilley have each been promoted from VP, group head to senior VP, group head at Toronto-based Leo Burnett. Groves heads the Maytag, Allstate, FHP/Atlantic and Hallmark accounts. Koster is in charge of Procter & Gamble and Walt Disney World, while Tilley handles Visa and Star Choice.

Annette Warring has been promoted to VP, associate media director from associate media director at Vickers & Benson’s Toronto subsidiary, Maxx Media. Joanna Jorgensen Wisniewski, meanwhile, has been hired as media supervisor on the McDonald’s account. Wisniewski comes from MBS/The Media Company.

Kenneth Wong has joined Hamazaki Wong Marketing Group of Vancouver as director of client services. Wong was previously manager of the business program at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Deborah Kudzman and Jean-Daniel Rohrer have started a new agency in Montreal, called Publicité Piranha. Kudzman, formerly in the marketing department at Talvest Fund Management, will handle the business side, while Rohrer, formerly with Publicis, will run the creative side. The agency will specialize in adapting national campaigns for the Quebec market.


KVOS TV of Bellingham, Wash. (channel 12 in the B.C. Lower Mainland) has appointed John Gibson to the post of president of KVOS TV Ltd., the company’s Canadian marketing and sales subsidiary in Vancouver. Gibson came to KVOS as national sales manager in 1980, and was promoted to VP, general sales manager in 1985.

Tom Cummings has been appointed VP, market manager for Toronto-based TDI Canada. The company recently won the $75-million contract to sell transit advertising on behalf of the Toronto Transit Commission. Cummings has been transferred from TDI’s office in Minneapolis, Minn.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group