Creative Report Card

A lot of people have been clamouring to get their hands on our Creative Report Card. Along with agency types, we heard from marketers and headhunters, who missed its usual December publishing date.

A lot of people have been clamouring to get their hands on our Creative Report Card. Along with agency types, we heard from marketers and headhunters, who missed its usual December publishing date.

Turns out, this report results in more than just backslapping. If you’re a marketer, there’s the chance to see how your AOR ranks on a national scale, plus find out which agencies are in their creative glory if you’re planning to make some changes. If you’re an ad shop looking to boost your creative status, you might pinpoint which staffers are worth stealing away from the competition.

Or you might just be interested in how the list has changed from the year before. Because it could be quite telling. Like the fact that TBWA went from number 16 in 2003 to number 5 currently. Or that BBDO jumped five spots from 11 to 6. Then there are those agencies that slipped out of the top 10 altogether.

While Alan Russell, the successful Vancouver-based CD at DDB Canada remains at the top of the Canadian creative director honour roll, the same can’t be said for his co-workers James Lee and Darryl Gardiner. They were beat out by copywriter/art director team Peter Ignazi and Carlos Moreno, the boys behind the hilarious Bud Light Institute campaign from Downtown Partners. Too bad Canada has lost them – for now anyway. In November, the duo moved to the Big Apple where they joined a small ad shop called Amalgamated Advertising. Perhaps it’s time to bring ‘em back?

Whatever your reason for perusing this list, we hope you find it as interesting as we do.

(The top 25 in each category are showcased on these pages. For the full list of Who’s Hot, go to

How we do it

The Creative Report Card was established in 1989 to give the marketing community an idea of which agencies, clients and creatives have brought home the most hardware for their mantels. To do this, we keep a database of wins for each agency, client, CD, art director and copywriter.

However, we at strategy realize it’s likely a tougher field at Cannes than in Calgary. Thus, point values are highest for international awards, followed by national and then regional. This year in particular we raised the value of points awarded to winners of international awards due to feedback from our readers.

Points are awarded according to whomever is credited in awards show books. When a credit was omitted in a particular awards show but the same ad was credited correctly in another award show, the secondary information was used to fill in the blanks.

In regard to people who won awards at different agencies (because they switched jobs) we have properly credited the appropriate agencies regardless of which company we have listed next to the person’s name. The company next to the person’s name is the agency and city where the person won the majority of their awards.

If an agency has offices in multiple cities, that agency is credited only once, however affiliated agencies with identical parent companies are listed differently.

In specific cases, clients were listed differently for the same ads. In those cases, we have merged the point totals. For clients who share the same parent company we have awarded the points to the credited company, though no two clients were awarded points for the same ad, regardless of which award show the ad appeared in.

One final thought: The purpose of the creative report card is to give a fair and accurate analysis of Canada’s strongest creative advertising work. Though not a perfect system, we have tried to do our best both in determining the value of each award show as well as to give credit where credit is due, not an easy task considering the CRC accounts for almost 1,000 individual awards (and at least five credits for every award).

What shows count



Best Of Show = 3

Gold = 2

Silver = 1

Ad Rodeo

Best Of Show = 2

Anvil = 1

Coq d’or

Gold (Or) = 3

Silver (Argent) = 2

Bronze = 1


Best Of Show = 2

Lotus = 1



Gold = 6

Silver = 5

Bronze = 4

Certificate = 3

Applied Arts

All = 3


Grand Prix = 7

Gold = 6

Silver = 5

Certificate = 4


Gold = 4

Silver = 3

Merit = 2



Gold = 12

Silver = 11

Bronze = 10


Gold = 9

Silver = 8

Bronze = 7

One Show

Gold = 9

Silver = 8

Bronze = 7


All = 9


Gold = 8

Silver = 7

Communication Arts

All = 5