Founding editor Smyka departs Brunico

Mark Smyka, Strategy's founding editor, is leaving Brunico Communications, the Toronto-based business communications company he helped launch in 1986, to pursue a range of personal interests, including teaching, writing for film and television, and spending more time with his family. 'The...

Mark Smyka, Strategy’s founding editor, is leaving Brunico Communications, the Toronto-based business communications company he helped launch in 1986, to pursue a range of personal interests, including teaching, writing for film and television, and spending more time with his family.

‘The decision to leave Brunico was obviously not easy,’ says Smyka, who is also a senior vice-president within the company, ‘but I’ve recently come to the realization that there are things I’d like to accomplish in my career and in my life that require me to move in a different direction. I know that now is the best time to do it, both for me, and for Brunico, which is growing faster than it has at any time in its history. Things are in good hands.’

With his departure, effective Mar. 10, Smyka leaves behind a company that has grown from producing a single publication, Playback, with six employees 14 years ago, to one that employs over 100 full-time employees working on five standalone publications, including Strategy, Playback, KidScreen, RealScreen and Boards.

A full series of conferences and events has also been brought to market under Smyka’s leadership, including the Golden Marble Awards, an international competition recognizing the best in children’s advertising, launched in New York City in 1998.

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.