Electronic data interchange becoming a reality

More than five years after they first began talking about Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Canadian media buyers and sellers can finally expect to become part of the electronic age later this year. Brian Pearman, president of Toronto-based Electronic Space & Time...

More than five years after they first began talking about Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Canadian media buyers and sellers can finally expect to become part of the electronic age later this year.

Brian Pearman, president of Toronto-based Electronic Space & Time and the man that’s shepherding the move toward EDI on behalf of a number of agencies and media suppliers, says all the difficult and time-consuming work has now been done, so once the project gets final industry approval, the system could be up and running as early as this summer.

Since leaving Genesis Media two years ago, Pearman has spent much of his time advocating industry standards for the electronic transmission of business documents that are needed to buy television, radio, newspaper, magazine and outdoor advertising. Eliminating much of the paperwork that buyers and sellers are now required to do, many in the media management industry believe, will result in huge cost savings.

The delivery of contracts, insertion orders and invoices will be handled through an Internet-based software system operated by a yet-to-be-determined third-party service bureau.

‘I’m telling everyone if they make a commitment, we could get all the documents flowing back and forth by the end of this year,’ says Pearman.

He says the EDI concept is easier to sell today than it was five years ago because everyone has had a chance to become more comfortable with electronic transactions of all kinds.

Sunni Boot, president of Optimedia Canada, is a strong supporter of the EDI project and believes it’s a necessity for the industry. With traditional paper-based systems, she says, discrepancies in the scheduling of television commercials could take up to 45 days to be discovered by the time a confirmation makes it back to the agency from the broadcaster. Such discrepancies, she adds, have invoicing implications for clients.

‘Our business is based on thousands of transactions in any given week or month and we’re the last industry left that isn’t electronically transferring this data,’ Boot says. ‘The data we get is subject to input errors – human errors – that I won’t say will be eliminated, but that will be vastly reduced by EDI.’

To date, the electronic transfer of information has primarily been restricted to invoices being distributed by such companies as Donovan Data Systems Canada (formerly Harris Donovan Systems Limited).

Wally Oakes, president of DDS Canada, says discrepancies in the paper-based system are causing a lot of media people, on both the buying and selling sides, to ignore the information they’re receiving.

‘I think people are drowning in paper.’

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.