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CANADIAN E-TAILERS LAGGING BEHIND U.S. While Canadian consumers are spending more and more money online, Canadian e-tailers are not keeping pace, according to a new study from Deloitte Consulting in Toronto. Canadians spent about $657 million during the traditional Christmas shopping...


While Canadian consumers are spending more and more money online, Canadian e-tailers are not keeping pace, according to a new study from Deloitte Consulting in Toronto. Canadians spent about $657 million during the traditional Christmas shopping season in the final three months of 1999, well in line with spending in the U.S., says Don Thompson, an e-commerce consultant with Deloitte. But the increased cost of shipping across Canada and the lower density of the Canadian marketplace make it more difficult for Canadian electronic retailers, especially those who do not have traditional stores, the study says. The study also says traditional retailers such as Sears Canada and Canadian Tire have an advantage over pure Internet companies in maximizing their e-commerce potential since they already have established distribution networks.


Cell phones used to be the sole territory of on-the-go salesmen and high-tech gadget lovers. But mobile phones are becoming nearly as common as regular phones. More than seven million Canadians, nearly one in four, now own a wireless phone, according to statistics from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. That represents a 30% increase in subscriber growth over the previous year and there seems to be little slowing that trend. Similar growth is expected in 2000, says the association representing the $4-billion Canadian wireless industry. Over the next decade, mobile wireless penetration for personal communications is predicted to double to almost 40%. Industry experts also forecast the world’s wireless phone subscribers to number 830 million by year-end 2003.


North American Internet advertisers are increasingly turning to performance-based Web advertising, according to a study by the New York-based Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Traditionally, rates for Internet advertising are based on the number of times that a banner ad is displayed. However, with consumers increasingly ignoring banner ads, Internet advertisers are choosing the more expensive clickthrough rates, the study showed. The proportion of online ads sold solely on a performance basis, including cost-per-click, jumped one-third, from six per cent in the first-quarter of 1999 to eight per cent in the third-quarter, according to the IAB. Despite consumer apathy with respect to banner advertising, North American Internet advertising continues to grow.


Frustrated by bad television commercials? Several high-profile companies are pointing consumers to the Internet to let them create their own ads. Ford, Nike and even Country Crock have launched efforts to try to get consumers to take an active part in creating their commercials. Consumers logging onto Ford’s Web site (www.focus247) can choose the cast and plot lines for spots which will debut in March and run through April in the U.S. Country Crock, meanwhile, is wrapping up its ‘Homemade Commercial Contest,’ which has consumers submit ideas for a 30-second TV spot. The winner pockets $25,000 and gets to see the commercial run on network TV. Nike, for its part, is asking consumers to log onto their Web site and choose the endings of three ‘cliffhanger’ spots.

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.