PJDDB restructures

Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet?...

Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Palmer Jarvis DDB is hoping it’ll smell sweeter. The agency has dispensed with the traditional "client services" model in favour of a "brand management" model in an effort to better integrate its various divisions and bring a more holistic approach to its clients’ brands.

Under the new structure, the brand management group will be responsible for developing the overall strategic platform for a client’s brand across all of the agency’s disciplines – including traditional advertising, online communications, database marketing, branding and design and youth marketing.

The brand management concept was initially tested in PJDDB’s Vancouver office and is now being introduced to the Toronto office. The concept will be rolled out to the agency’s offices in Winnipeg and Edmonton as needed.

Frank Palmer, the agency’s CEO, says such an approach is critical to ensuring that a brand’s strategy remains consistent across all disciplines.

He says the agency’s various units – including DDB Digital, DDB Response, DDB Karacters Design and KidThink – will continue to operate as they have been with their individual clients, but in cases where the strategy is conceived by the general advertising agency, the brand manager will have the last word on how it will be handled across all disciplines.

"If you can handle all their business and you can handle it with one smart person across all disciplines – that’s what they want you to do," says Palmer.

That may be so, but some industry watchers believe it isn’t a coincidence that PJDDB began restructuring about the same time that national creative director Chris Staples left the agency to start Rethink Communications with colleagues Ian Grais and Tom Shepansky.

One agency source who asked not to be identified says PJDDB needed to improve its service offering if it was going to stem the flow of clients to Rethink.

Another says Palmer had wanted to put the focus on brand management for some time, but couldn’t as long as Staples – a big believer in the pre-eminence of creative – was still there.

This is the second time that Palmer Jarvis has reinvented itself. Seven years ago, the agency – which had built its reputation as a retail shop – set out to become a creative powerhouse. Last year, it captured Strategy’s Agency of the Year award.

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.

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.