Foss made indelible contribution to ad industry

John Foss, an outspoken advocate for commercial free speech and head of the Association of Canadian Advertisers for well over a decade, died Feb. 28 from complications from pneumonia while on vacation in Ecuador with his wife Pat. He was 74....

John Foss, an outspoken advocate for commercial free speech and head of the Association of Canadian Advertisers for well over a decade, died Feb. 28 from complications from pneumonia while on vacation in Ecuador with his wife Pat. He was 74.

A native Norwegian, Foss moved to Canada in 1957 and made an indelible contribution to the advertising industry during a long career that began at Canadian Canners, where he became director of advertising.

He chaired the Association of Canadian Advertisers for the 1973-74 term and later became the association’s president and CEO, a post he held for 14 years (from 1979 to 1993).

In 1996, Foss was awarded the ACA’s Gold Medal for his contributions to the advancement of advertising. Specifically, he was cited for his role in the establishment of the ACA’s educational initiatives, in the formation of the Canadian Congress of Advertising and its Cassies Awards Program, and his strong support of the principle of commercial free speech.

During the 1970s, Foss was a forceful opponent of proposed federal legislation that would have placed severe restrictions on advertising creative.

Foss was also involved with a number of other industry organizations, including the World Federation of Advertisers, the Canadian Advertising Foundation (now Advertising Standards Canada), the Canadian Advertising Research Foundation and the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Corner Officer Shifts: Martin Fecko leaves Tangerine

Plus, PointsBet Canada and Thinkific name new marketing leaders as Lole gets a new ecommerce VP.
Corner Office

Martin Fecko departs Tangerine 

After roughly two years of serving as Tangerine’s chief marketing officer, Martin Fecko has a new gig. And this time, the financial services vet will apply his marketing leadership to a new sector, having been named CMO of Dentalcorp.

Fecko will lead the dental network’s end-to-end patient journey, support its overall growth, and work to maximize patient experiences across every touchpoint, the company said in a release.

“Martin’s in-depth expertise in engaging and retaining customers through a digitally enabled experience will be valuable in realizing our vision to be Canada’s most trusted healthcare network,” said Dentalcorp president Guy Amini.

Prior to joining Scotiabank’s digital-only banking brand in late-2019, Fecko was country manager for Intuit Canada and spent 10 years at American Express in consumer and digital marketing.

PointsBet Canada nabs former Bell marketer as it pursues expansion

Dave Rivers has joined PointsBet, an online gaming and sports betting operator, as Canadian VP of marketing.

Rivers joins from Bell, where he was most recently director of brand marketing and sponsorship, responsible for driving the company’s national sponsorship strategy and portfolio. He will report to PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky.

According to Sulsky, Rivers will “play a key role as we prepare to launch a business that is unique to our roots here in Canada.”

PointsBet has a significant presence in Australia, where it was founded, and in the U.S. In July, it named Scott Vanderwel, a former SVP at Rogers, as CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, one of several hires aimed at establishing the company’s presence locally.

Thinkific names first CMO among other executive appointments

Vancouver’s Thinkific, a platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses, has appointed Henk Campher as its first chief marketing officer as it invests in marketing to support its growth plans. It has also upped Chris McGuire to the role of chief technology officer and moved former CTO and co-founder Matt Payne into the new role of SVP of innovation.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith said Campher and McGuire “will play key roles building high-functioning teams around them and optimizing investment as we continue to carve out an increasingly prominent and differentiated position in the global market.”

Campher joins from Hootsuite, where he was VP of corporate marketing. Before that, he was VP of brand and communications at CRM giant Salesforce.

Lolë names new VP of digital omni-commerce as parent company exits bankruptcy protection

The Montreal-based athletic apparel and accessories retailer has appointed Rob French as VP of digital omni-commerce.

French will lead Lolë’s efforts in consumer insights, supply chain-to-consumer models and online customer journeys. In what is a new role for the company, he will also work to grow the company’s retail brand. He arrives with sixteen years experience in ecommerce, having spent the last few years as chief digital commerce officer at sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

In May 2020, Lolë parent Coalision Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, citing several years of losses as a result of a downturn in the retail clothing market, increased competition and excess inventory – problems exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the filing, Coalision was seeking an investor or purchaser of its assets.

It successfully exited bankruptcy protection last year and is currently rebuilding its executive team, according to a spokesperson.