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.

Google launches a campaign about news connections

The search engine is using archival footage to convey what Canadians are interested in.

Google Canada and agency Church + State have produced a new spot informed by research from the search giant that suggests it is a primary connector for Canadians to the news that matters to them – a direct shot across the bow of the legislators presently considering Bill C-18.

In a spot titled “Connecting you to all that’s news,” the search giant harnesses archival footage reflective of many of the issues Canadians care about deeply, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation and the war in Ukraine, to demonstrate the point that many Canadians turn to Google as a gateway to the information and news they’re seeking.

“From St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between, when Canadians want to understand or get updated on the most pressing topics, Google connects them to the news sources that provide it,” says Laura Pearce, head of marketing for Google Canada. “All of us at Google are proud to be that consistent and reliable connection for Canadians to the news they’re searching for.”

In some ways, the goal of the campaign was to tap into the varied emotional responses that single news stories can have with different audiences across the country.

“News may be factual, but how people respond to it can be very emotional,” explains Ron Tite, founder and CCO at Church + State. “Importantly, those emotions aren’t universal. One news story can create completely different reactions from different people in different places. Because of that, we simply wanted to let connecting to news be the focus of this campaign. We worked diligently to license a wide variety of actual news footage that we felt would resonate with Canadians.”

The campaign can be seen as a statement by the search provider on Bill C-18 – the Online News Act – that is currently being deliberated by a parliamentary committee. That legislation seeks to force online platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay news publishers for their content, echoing a similar law passed in Australia in 2021. The Act has drawn sharp rebukes from both companies, with Facebook threatening to ban news sharing on its platform.

Google Canada is not commenting on whether this new campaign is a response to C-18, but it has been public in its criticism of the legislation. In testimony delivered to parliament and shared on its blog, Colin McKay, the company’s head of public policy and government relations, said, “This is a history-making opportunity for Canada to craft world-class legislation that is clear and principled on who it benefits.” However, he noted that C-18 is “not that legislation.”

The campaign launched on Oct. 24 and is running through December across cinema, OLV, OOH, podcast, digital and social. Airfoil handled the broadcast production.