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TECH BRANDS SEE GENDER GAP High tech companies are lagging behind when it comes to making a connection with women, reports American Demographics magazine. High tech brands ranging from Microsoft to Netscape all scored lower among women than men with respect...

TECH BRANDS SEE GENDER GAP

High tech companies are lagging behind when it comes to making a connection with women, reports American Demographics magazine. High tech brands ranging from Microsoft to Netscape all scored lower among women than men with respect to brand recognition, share of mind and share of heart in an Internet consumer survey by Landor Associates, a San Francisco, Calif.-based global branding consultancy. Only a handful on the list – mostly what Landor calls ‘softer’ technology brands – had stronger connections with women than men. These included greeting card site Blue Mountain Arts, Disney, and Women.com. But when it comes to picking the dominant brands within the high tech category, there’s little argument between the sexes over which score higher. ‘The better known a brand becomes, the better its brand equity and message is perceived consistently by both men and women,’ says David Redhill, Landor director of global communications. Power brands such as Microsoft, Intel, Netscape and AT&T topped the overall ranking, but not even one of these scored a perfect 100. Microsoft Windows, with a score of 83, had the best showing. ‘A lot of brands still have a way to go,’ said Redhill.

GROCERY STORES DEBUT LABOUR-MAKING DEVICE

Forget ‘Paper or plastic?’ The next time you go into a grocery store you may be asked ‘Human or machine?’ Self-serve checkout systems are becoming increasingly prevalent in U.S. grocery stores. U-Scan Express checkouts, which let consumers scan and bag their own groceries, are now being used in more than 200 Kroger stores. Meanwhile, Harris Teeter, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart and several smaller U.S. grocery chains are all experimenting with the U-Scan technology. The system, developed by Montreal-based Optimal Robotics Corp., is monitored at a central location by a human being who guides shoppers through the process and stops under-aged shoppers from purchasing alcohol or tobacco. Shoppers who try to sneak items past the machine are stopped when the U-Scan system compares the total weight of the bag with the items that have been scanned, alerting a staff member when there is a discrepancy.

CANADIAN INTERNET ADVERTISERS TIMID

Conservative Canadian advertisers continue to lag behind their U.S. counterparts when it comes to online advertising, according to a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau. U.S. advertisers are outspending Canadians by a rate of 60 to one, according to the study. Internet ad spending is still growing at a rapid pace, though, with online advertising expenditures estimated to reach about $109 million, a 96% increase from 1999. The main reason for the gap between Canadian and U.S. Internet ad spending, the report says, is the continuing lack of Canadian sites engaged in online selling. According to the study’s authors, Canadian e-tailers should be looking to the Web to attract U.S. consumers north of the border to take advantage of the weak Canadian dollar.

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.