Movers & Shakers

CLIENTS: MGI Software, a developer of e-commerce imaging and digital video technology, has named Sergio Zyman to its board of directors. The consultant, author and former chief marketing officer with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Ga., will act as a strategic...


MGI Software, a developer of e-commerce imaging and digital video technology, has named Sergio Zyman to its board of directors. The consultant, author and former chief marketing officer with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Ga., will act as a strategic marketing advisor to the Richmond Hill, Ont.-based firm.

Tourism British Columbia has boosted its ranks with several appointments: Ray LeBlond, president of the B.C. chapter of the American Marketing Association, is now director of corporate communications. Dawn Charlton, meanwhile, has been named manager, advertising and publications. And Lorelynn Villanueva has been promoted to overseas travel media specialist.

Dylex executive VP and general manager Jeff Sarfin has left the troubled retailing empire. Sarfin, who oversaw the creation of Dylex’s new Labels discount fashion chain, says he’s doing some consulting work and deciding what he wants to do in the future.


Darrel Shee, partner and creative-at-large with Vancouver’s Bryant, Fulton & Shee, has retired. His career, spanning 30 years, included award-winning work for London Optical, A&W Restaurants, Earls Restaurants, and Kokanee beer.

Neil McOstrich is joining Palmer Jarvis DDB’s Toronto office as VP, creative director. He comes from Ammirati Puris Lintas, where he was VP, associate creative director. Prior to that, he held creative director positions at MacLaren McCann, BBDO and FCB Canada. At PJDDB he’ll replace Marc Stobier, who left in February to join Grey Canada.

Barbara Passmore has retired from her position as VP, director of communications and research at J. Walter Thomson after a 22-year career. Passmore is past chair of the Canadian Outdoor Measurement Bureau, current chair of the COMB proof of performance committee and a board member of PMB Print Measurement Bureau, the Broadcast Research Council and the Canadian Advertising Research Foundation.

Meg Vis has been promoted to director of client services at the Bristol Group in St. John’s, Nfld. The agency has also hired Sandra Greer as account director. Coming from MTT, Greer will work on the Aliant account from Bristol’s Halifax office.

Cam Landell and Bradley Vettese have joined Lanyon Phillips Communications in Vancouver. Landell, the agency’s new VP, client services, comes from Wasserman & Partners where he handled Intrawest and Chevron. Vettese, the new VP, brand integration, was formerly president of western operations with Generatorideaworks.


CHUM Television has promoted Jay Switzer to senior VP and general manager of ChumCity, the division that oversees everything emanating from CHUM’s landmark Toronto headquarters, including Citytv, MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic, Bravo!, Space, CablePulse24, Star!, ChumCity Interactive and ChumCity International. Additionally, Switzer retains his role as senior VP programming, CHUM Television – the company responsible for the above properties plus seven others, including The New VR and Canadian Learning Television. Switzer replaces Mark Rubinstein.


The Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada has picked Daintry Springer to be its new executive director. She comes to the IABC from the Royal Bank Financial Group, where she spent two years handling the bank’s Internet advertising. Springer replaces John Chaplin, managing director.


Harris Media Systems of Toronto has named Peter Walsh its new president and chief operating officer. Walsh is moving to Canada from Australia, where he was executive director, business and consumer research at ACNielsen.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group