Account Action

Microsoft Canada has named Publicis Canada of Toronto AOR for its advertising account, estimated to be worth upwards of $25 million. Leo Burnett, MacLaren McCann and Young & Rubicam were also on the shortlist. The business had been with The Communiqué...

Microsoft Canada has named Publicis Canada of Toronto AOR for its advertising account, estimated to be worth upwards of $25 million. Leo Burnett, MacLaren McCann and Young & Rubicam were also on the shortlist. The business had been with The Communiqué Group.

Telus Advertising Services and Dominion Directory Information Services have picked Ogilvy & Mather as the creative agency on their account, estimated to be worth $6 million. The agency will handle the business out of its Calgary and Vancouver offices. Telus recently awarded its $30-million wireline consumer creative account to Palmer Jarvis DDB and its $15-million wireline business creative to Lanyon Phillips Communications. Both agencies are based in Vancouver. Telus’ media buying is with OMD Canada.

Toronto-based software company Hummingbird Communications has hired The Communiqué Group to create an international ad campaign for its Enterprise Information Portal. The assignment is valued at US$5 million.

Ontario Power Generation, one of North America’s largest electricity generating companies, has named Toronto-based Wolf Group its advertising agency of record. The assignment calls for an integrated communications program that will target business-to-business, employee, and plant communities.

The University of Alberta has completed its advertising review, giving Palmer Jarvis DDB the nod for its $1-million account. Creative will focus on student and faculty recruitment as well as fundraising efforts.

The Square One shopping mall in Mississauga, Ont. recently awarded its creative and media duties to Young & Rubicam of Toronto and its public relations business to Fruitman Communications Group.

Berminghammer Foundation Equipment, a Canadian engineering company that manufactures and markets direct drive diesel hammers, has hired Hamilton-based Cooper, Spearing & Stone Advertising as its agency of record. The agency was also named Canadian AOR by cost-reduction company Expense Reduction Analysts International.

Canoe has awarded the media buying portion of its $5-million account to Carat Canada. The business will be split between Carat Canada’s two divisions, Carat Strategem of Montreal and Carat Cairns of Toronto. Bos of Montreal recently picked up the creative business.

Alliance Atlantis Communications, owner of specialty channels Showcase Television, HGTV Canada and Life Network, has named The Communiqué Group of Toronto as agency for its account, valued at more than $4 million.

Google launches a campaign about news connections

The search engine is using archival footage to convey what Canadians are interested in.

Google Canada and agency Church + State have produced a new spot informed by research from the search giant that suggests it is a primary connector for Canadians to the news that matters to them – a direct shot across the bow of the legislators presently considering Bill C-18.

In a spot titled “Connecting you to all that’s news,” the search giant harnesses archival footage reflective of many of the issues Canadians care about deeply, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation and the war in Ukraine, to demonstrate the point that many Canadians turn to Google as a gateway to the information and news they’re seeking.

“From St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between, when Canadians want to understand or get updated on the most pressing topics, Google connects them to the news sources that provide it,” says Laura Pearce, head of marketing for Google Canada. “All of us at Google are proud to be that consistent and reliable connection for Canadians to the news they’re searching for.”

In some ways, the goal of the campaign was to tap into the varied emotional responses that single news stories can have with different audiences across the country.

“News may be factual, but how people respond to it can be very emotional,” explains Ron Tite, founder and CCO at Church + State. “Importantly, those emotions aren’t universal. One news story can create completely different reactions from different people in different places. Because of that, we simply wanted to let connecting to news be the focus of this campaign. We worked diligently to license a wide variety of actual news footage that we felt would resonate with Canadians.”

The campaign can be seen as a statement by the search provider on Bill C-18 – the Online News Act – that is currently being deliberated by a parliamentary committee. That legislation seeks to force online platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay news publishers for their content, echoing a similar law passed in Australia in 2021. The Act has drawn sharp rebukes from both companies, with Facebook threatening to ban news sharing on its platform.

Google Canada is not commenting on whether this new campaign is a response to C-18, but it has been public in its criticism of the legislation. In testimony delivered to parliament and shared on its blog, Colin McKay, the company’s head of public policy and government relations, said, “This is a history-making opportunity for Canada to craft world-class legislation that is clear and principled on who it benefits.” However, he noted that C-18 is “not that legislation.”

The campaign launched on Oct. 24 and is running through December across cinema, OLV, OOH, podcast, digital and social. Airfoil handled the broadcast production.