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U.S. AD SPENDING UP Ad spending in the U.S. rose by more than 10% last year, according to a study by Competitive Media Reporting. The New York-based firm pegged ad spending in 1999 at US$87.5 billion, up from US$79.7 billion the...


Ad spending in the U.S. rose by more than 10% last year, according to a study by Competitive Media Reporting. The New York-based firm pegged ad spending in 1999 at US$87.5 billion, up from US$79.7 billion the previous year. The heavy demand of dot-com advertisers pushed up ad rates across the U.S., the report says. Among traditional advertisers, General Motors held its rank as the biggest advertiser, spending US$2.88 billion, up 35.6% from 1998. McDonald’s ranked as the top brand in ad spending, at US$623 million, up 9.5% from the previous year. Behind General Motors, Procter & Gamble was the second leading advertiser, spending US$1.68 billion, down 2.3% from 1998, while DaimlerChrysler AG ranked third with a nine per cent increase to US$1.5 billion. Television networks took about US$18 billion of the total ad dollars spent. However, smaller specialty cable channels saw a 31.2% increase in their share of the ad spending, says CMR. In the Internet advertising category, dot-coms spent US$1.91 billion, up from US$1.03 billion the previous year, and accounted for slightly more than two per cent of total ad spending.


A series of spots for Orkin, the Atlanta, Ga.-based pest control company, are bugging some television viewers. The series of 15- and 30-second spots, by J. Walter Thompson, feature a cockroach crawling across the television screen. The image is so realistic, it has caused some viewers to literally attack their TV sets trying to kill the pest. As one spot begins, it appears to tout a new brand of fabric softener. Unsuspecting viewers are soothed by unremarkable images: white fluffy towels blowing in the breeze and a thirty-something female caressing a soft, clean towel against her cheek. But as these images lull the audience into complacency, a large cockroach crawls across the screen as if on the viewer’s own television. Only when ‘The Orkin Man’ interrupts the commercial to kill the pest is the ‘fake out’ revealed. According to the company, one woman threw a motorcycle helmet at the screen, while others have thrown shoes to try to kill the roach. The company has added a ‘You Got Me’ promotional contest to the campaign, urging viewers who were faked out to share their experiences.

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.