B.C. privacy matter grinds on

As fast as a government bureaucracy. That's the speed at which a complaint before B.C.'s privacy commission appears to be moving. Last September, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commission (OIPC) in Victoria received a complaint about a telemarketing campaign...

As fast as a government bureaucracy. That’s the speed at which a complaint before B.C.’s privacy commission appears to be moving.

Last September, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commission (OIPC) in Victoria received a complaint about a telemarketing campaign targeting members of the alumni associations of two B.C. universities (see ‘Privacy nabob probes alumni associations,’ Strategy DirectResponse, Oct. 11, 1999). Now, nearly six months later, the groundwork for the investigation is only just being laid.

At issue are whether the schools, which provide contact information on graduates to third-party marketing firms, make students aware of their intention to provide alumni lists for such purposes, whether they clearly ask for the graduates’ permission to do so, and whether they give them an opportunity to decline.

‘Because it’s such a big issue with (the universities), we want specific answers to some questions,’ explains Charmaine Lowe, communications director for the OIPC. ‘So in conjunction with the commissioner, we’ve drafted a list of questions about the process and sent them to the four main universities.’ The schools include the University of Victoria (UVIC), the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Northern B.C. (UNBC).

The issue is a sensitive one, says Lowe, because, in an era of government cutbacks, the universities are increasingly dependent on the money they raise by selling grads’ personal information.

‘The answers to these questions should tell us how they raise the money through this campaign,’ says Lowe. ‘At this time, all the portfolio officer investigating the issue could tell me is the commission hopes to have a draft of final recommendations by the end of March.’

The issue surfaced when a graduate complained that universities were supplying alumni association members’ personal information to Meloche Monnex. The company, part of the Canada Trust group, was contacting graduates in a bid to sell them household insurance packages.

The OIPC spent the first several weeks determining whether it even had jurisdiction over the schools’ alumni associations.

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.