Walshe appointed CEO of Starcom Media Vest Group

Canadian media veteran Patrick Walshe has joined Toronto-based Starcom MediaVest Group (part of Publicis Groupe), as CEO of Canadian operations.

Canadian media veteran Patrick Walshe has joined Toronto-based Starcom MediaVest Group (part of Publicis Groupe), as CEO of Canadian operations.

For the past four years, Walshe was COO at Carat Canada in Toronto. Prior to that, he spent time as VP at Harrison Young Pesonen & Newell (now PHD Canada), where he acquired clients including American Express, Sprint Canada, and ScotiaMcLeod. At HYPN, Walshe integrated a transactional media model that brought together direct response and traditional media planning and buying structures.

Walshe has also served in several industry organizations, including Print Measurement Bureau, the Canadian Marketing Association, Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada, and AIMS.

Asked about his immediate goals at Starcom, Walshe says, ‘I am in the happy-client business. Do I want to bring new clients on board? Absolutely. But not at the loss of current clients.’

He adds that he respects what Paul Maher, whom he replaces, has built at SMG, and he will continue to evolve processes already put in place. Maher returns to his native New Zealand to oversee the management of a new Starcom office there as of June 1. Maher’s move is ‘about growing the network,’ says Renetta McCann, CEO of Starcom North America, adding, ‘There are no structural weaknesses [in the Canadian operations] at all.

‘As we move from consumer exposure to consumer engagement, due to the greater control consumers now have over how they interact with media, we require new tools to be on the pulse of consumers.’

‘Consumers are idiosyncratic,’ acknowledges Walshe. ‘I am completely committed to following the consumer, to adding to our clients’ bottom line. Guys like me wake up at night thinking about media. This is a great opportunity.’

According to Paris-based research company RECMA, with 110 offices in 67 countries, SMG oversees US$18.8 billion in advertising revenues globally each year for clients including Kellogg and General Motors.