JWT buys Go Direct

Less than two weeks after it bought a Toronto-based marketing firm with a foot in the direct marketing camp, J. Walter Thompson has acquired a full-fledged direct response marketing agency in Vancouver, Go Direct Marketing....

Less than two weeks after it bought a Toronto-based marketing firm with a foot in the direct marketing camp, J. Walter Thompson has acquired a full-fledged direct response marketing agency in Vancouver, Go Direct Marketing.

"This is a very significant addition," says Tony Pigott, president of JWT Group Canada. "Go Direct is a leader in the database field and having them as part of our family extends our capabilities in an incredibly important area."

Pigott says Go Direct will continue to operate under its current name and that its president and founding partner, Virginia Greene, will retain her title and responsibilities.

"Direct marketing agencies like ours are in high demand," says Greene. "Many major agencies want to be in that business and they’ve found acquisition is a good way to do that. We talked to a number of agencies and J. Walter Thompson came out on top of the list."

Go Direct was established in 1988, and currently counts BCT.Telus Communications and Kraft Canada among its clients. Pigott says Go Direct and JWT will work together on some accounts, while also servicing their own, separate clients.

Less than a month ago, JWT acquired Interactive Marketing Concepts (IMC), an e-business marketing firm based in Toronto. IMC now operates as an independent brand of JWT Group Canada. It specializes in e-business marketing solutions that combine direct marketing and digital offerings. IMC’s client roster includes Parke Davis, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, NATO and Liberty Health.

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.