CBC to drop ads; media buyers wary

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's plan to go commercial-free could spell higher rates and increased clutter in the private television marketplace, media buyers warn....

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s plan to go commercial-free could spell higher rates and increased clutter in the private television marketplace, media buyers warn.

CBC president Robert Rabinovitch has revealed plans to de-commercialize the public broadcaster by eliminating as much advertising "as possible." He wants to start by dropping ads from news programming.

Lorraine Hughes, media director with Toronto-based TBWA Chiat/Day, says there’s steadily growing pressure on TV time these days, especially with the proliferation of dot-com advertisers, and reductions on CBC will just add to that.

While the effect probably won’t be that serious in Toronto, where advertisers have a reasonable amount of selection, it could prove considerable in markets such as Calgary and Vancouver, where inventory is tight.

"There just aren’t enough GRPs [in those markets] for everybody to buy," Hughes says. "As we’re losing minutes, it’s putting more pressure on the inventory that’s in the market. And of course, as there’s more pressure, the rates increase, and it all becomes a vicious cycle."

The loss of commercial opportunities in CBC news programming, she adds, will diminish the already limited array of options available to those advertisers that target managers and professionals.

For her part, Karen Nayler, managing director of Toronto-based MindShare Canada, says there’s no real cause for panic – at least at the moment.

While CBC may be cutting back on commercial airtime, she says, there’s more and more available from specialty channels – many of which also offer new opportunities for targeting.

Hughes agrees, but adds that there’s one thing advertisers can do on CBC news that they can’t do on most specialties – namely, execute regional buys.

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.