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ETHICS SELL Banks and mutual fund marketers looking to increase their customer bases should can the cheesy promotions and toaster giveaways and concentrate on marketing themselves as ethical brands, according to Young & Rubicam's Brand Futures Group. Creating ethical brands in...


Banks and mutual fund marketers looking to increase their customer bases should can the cheesy promotions and toaster giveaways and concentrate on marketing themselves as ethical brands, according to Young & Rubicam’s Brand Futures Group. Creating ethical brands in financial services is becoming a hot trend, the New York-based trendspotter reports. In the U.S., socially responsible investment vehicles that screen portfolios for everything from polluting industries to tobacco and gambling operations accounted for more than US$2 trillion of the US$16.3 trillion under professional management in 1999. This reflects an 82% increase since 1997, according to a new report by the Social Investment Forum. A dispute over who has the right to use the term ‘ethical funds’ has led two Canadian mutual fund companies to the courtroom. Vancouver-based Ethical Funds recently launched a trademark infringement suit against mutual fund giant Mackenzie Financial Corp., alleging it is illegally using the Ethical brand name on a new global stock fund. MacKenzie has not said whether it will discontinue using the name or fight the suit.


Web retailers who attempt to market themselves as virtual twins of their bricks-and-mortar siblings will fail, says influential retail analyst Paco Underhill. Underhill, an analyst with New York-based Envirosell and author of Why We Buy, says Web retailers should explore the Web’s potential as a search engine. Retailers are attempting to be all things to all customers rather than finding customer segments that are not being well served in the retail sector. Online retail continues to be hobbled by awkward sites and poor sales service, he says. ‘When you walk into a bricks-and-mortar world, you know what aisles are and display space is and, once you get to the cash register, you have a concept of what the transaction is,’ he says. ‘In the Webs, there are no standards. I have abandoned ship in the check-out process countless times, even in places I’ve purchased before.’


Despite the growing popularity of debit and credit cards, Canadians still think that cash is king, according to a survey by ACNielsen. Cash was used in six of the last 10 retail transactions, according to a survey of more than 2,000 primary grocery shoppers. Debit cards were used for three of the remaining transactions while credit cards were used for only one, the survey found. Cheques and other forms of payment were used in only two per cent of all retail transactions. Younger consumers were the most frequent users of debit cards with the highest usage reported in Quebec and the Prairie provinces, while baby boomers used credit cards the most. Use of both debit and credit cards was higher among educated and wealthy shoppers. Safety of all payment systems was a concern to those surveyed, says Tim Hodapp, vice-president of ACNielsen DJC Research. ‘Thirty-nine per cent of all respondents said they were either concerned or very concerned with the safety of debit cards – perhaps a result of the recent publicity about debit card scams.’ Thirty-six per cent said they were concerned about the safety of credit cards.

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.