Frequent flyer plans on autopilot

On Air Canada's list of things to do, harmonizing its frequent flyer program with that of former rival Canadian Airlines International isn't a top priority. Laura Cook, a spokesperson for Air Canada, says of more immediate concern are the larger operational...

On Air Canada’s list of things to do, harmonizing its frequent flyer program with that of former rival Canadian Airlines International isn’t a top priority.

Laura Cook, a spokesperson for Air Canada, says of more immediate concern are the larger operational issues, such as how to manage excess route capacity and streamline operations at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport now that the takeover of Canadian Airlines has been approved.

‘We will put a committee in place to look at the issues concerning frequent flyer plans – issues such as mirroring our databases,’ says Cook. ‘But right now, we have to finish with the financial restructuring. There are a number of things to do there first. Then we’ll look at merging the two plans.’

According to Air Canada, the airline has organized more than 20 working groups to tackle more than 50 separate initiatives related to the integration of the two airlines’ operations, ranging from information technology to alliances to loyalty programs.

Members of Aeroplan and Canadian Plus, the respective frequent flyer programs of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines, have been able to earn miles on either airline since last month, and according to Cook, they’ll soon be able to redeem points on either carrier.

Further, starting this month, Super Elite, Elite, Executive Platinum and Gold members now have access to any Air Canada or Canadian Airlines lounge when travelling on any Air Canada or Canadian Airlines designated flight.

‘In effect, people who are Canadian Plus members can fly on Air Canada metal and collect Aeroplan miles, and vice-versa,’ Cook explains. ‘We are well aware of how Canadians love their points.’

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.
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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.