Hollinger divestment won’t have serious impact: buyers

National advertisers needn't worry themselves about Hollinger's decision to sell off a slew of its newspaper holdings - at least, not yet. That appears to be the consensus among planners at some of Canada's top media management firms....

National advertisers needn’t worry themselves about Hollinger’s decision to sell off a slew of its newspaper holdings – at least, not yet. That appears to be the consensus among planners at some of Canada’s top media management firms.

The Toronto-based newspaper owner announced plans April 25 to sell most of its community newspapers as well as some city papers, including The Kingston Whig-Standard and the St. Catharines Standard.

"There are some good things for advertisers," says David Cairns, president of Toronto-based media management firm Carat Cairns, of the announcement. "We might well be seeing a shift back to multi-ownership…which is probably good for competition and pricing in the marketplace."

He says as long as the National Post – the jewel in Hollinger’s media crown – is not affected, the sell-off should not have a serious impact on national advertisers. "Local community and smaller publications don’t tend to get a lot of national advertising anyway," says Cairns.

But Cairns wonders whether, down the line, Hollinger will continue to publish stand-alone dailies in markets such as Calgary or Edmonton, when it might be more cost-effective for the company to publish regional editions of the Post.

David Chung, president of Toronto-based MaxxMedia, says he doesn’t see any immediate impact on national advertisers as a result of the sell-off. But he predicts Hollinger’s planned segue into electronic media will have dramatic consequences, for both advertisers and the competition alike.

For his part, Mark Sherman, president of Toronto-based Media Experts, says it’s difficult to gauge the impact on advertisers until it’s known who’s buying.

"It’s possible that whoever buys these papers may be able to do more with them and make them more viable than Hollinger has," says Sherman. "Ultimately, a new owner would probably be a good thing."

The issue of media ownership is a hot topic of late, especially now that both Hollinger and Thomson Newspapers have put many of their assets on the block. Heritage Minister Sheila Copps recently promised a full-scale review of ownership and concentration regulations across all media.

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.