Globe returns to ABC

After a 15-year absence, The Globe and Mail is rejoining the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of The Globe, made the announcement at the Canadian Media Directors' Council annual conference in Toronto, April 5. Crawley revealed The...

After a 15-year absence, The Globe and Mail is rejoining the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of The Globe, made the announcement at the Canadian Media Directors’ Council annual conference in Toronto, April 5.

Crawley revealed The Globe’s intentions a mere week after the release of a favourable NADbank readership study and just prior to a keynote address by Conrad Black, chairman and CEO of Hollinger International, owner of upstart competitor the National Post.

In his address, Crawley said that while he still has concerns over the ABC’s circulation measurement criteria – despite recent changes – he felt The Globe could no longer avoid the pressure from the media buying community to rejoin the Bureau.

‘I have decided to argue from the inside rather than criticize from the outside,’ he said, ‘so I will be asking ABC to audit The Globe and Mail for the current six-month period ending Sept. 30.’

Crawley added that rejoining the ABC was ‘a big decision to make and we thought long and hard about it. We’re doing it from a position of strength and confidence…We just feel this enables us to have a voice as things go forward.’

Reaction from the industry was positive. Sunni Boot, president of Optimedia Canada, says she’s extremely pleased that The Globe has rejoined ABC, because it allows media planners and buyers to assess all the major Toronto papers using a consistent measure.

Bob White, senior vice-president of ABC, was understandably delighted: ‘I am a happy guy and I welcome them with open arms.’

Crawley says that although he’s not happy with the ABC’s current definition of paid circulation, it does look as though it will become the standard, since ABC in the U.S. is considering a similar change. The new definition came into force in Canada in 1998, replacing a measurement method that had been in place since 1914.

The old definition limited papers to reporting circulation as ‘paid’ only if it was sold for 50% or more of the publication’s cover price.

Under the revised guidelines, a newspaper’s total circulation is segmented into four categories: paid circulation at 50% or more of the cover price; paid circulation at less than 50% of the cover price; bulk circulation or copies sold in bulk to airlines or hotels for distribution to customers; and non-paid circulation.

Arguing that the relaxation of the ABC reporting rules has ‘devalued the currency’ of newspaper circulation numbers, Crawley says it has also cost the industry many millions of dollars in circulation revenue. Those with the deepest pockets, he maintains, can afford to market themselves at a deeply discounted price, at the expense of their competitors.

Not surprisingly, Crawley saved his most stinging criticism for the National Post: ‘Clearly, [discounts] have been the foundation for their rapid circulation growth.’

Crawley says The Globe will continue to do an independent audit in addition to the ABC’s, something that is quite common with large U.S. newspapers. For the past 15 years, the paper has been audited by KPMG.

The Toronto Star is also audited by two different bodies, ABC and the Canadian Circulations Audit Board.

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.