Yearbook entries



Wes Pringle, the senior director of marketing and professional sales for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Canada, describes the pharmaceutical’s recent track record with the agency:

‘JWT has nailed for us six out of seven ads we have put on air [in the last year.] And when I say nailed, we put it on air and were able to clearly demonstrate [the value] in market results in a very short period of time.’


Bob Leonidas, the president of Nestlé Confectionery, on the agency’s brain trust:

‘I think Martin Shewchuk is the best creative director in this country. He’s fantastic. And he really does a great job of managing, motivating and grooming the creative talent that works for him. They look up to him, and he coaches them and develops them and pushes them. They say a sign of a great leader is to have many followers. But I think it’s to create many leaders, and that’s what Martin does.’


Diana Carradine, executive director of Concerned Children’s Advertisers, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group, for whom JWT developed its obesity-awareness campaign:

‘The agency worked with us and our creative committee for a period of about 18 months, helping us to refine our objectives, wade through all the research, dig for the insights and essentially distill a very complex issue down to a simple but compelling call-to-action for children. They worked with us to develop the program name ‘Long Live Kids.’ We believe it is a rallying cry that is universal in its appeal.’


Scott Goodson, originally from Montreal and one of the founding partners of Amsterdam-based agency StrawberryFrog, recalls being the ECD of the company from 1997 to 1999:

‘Together [with former president and CEO Ted Nation] we knew rebuilding JWT to its former greatness lay in wooing and winning totally new kinds of clients. And we went about reshaping the agency with this clear sense of purpose in mind. We broke down barriers…. We wanted to move things like street sellers.’


Rick Kemp, ECD at Grey Advertising, held the same position with JWT from 1998 to 2002:

‘One of my biggest memories is when, after our first few months, we showed the [new] reel at the Xmas party and the response was overwhelming. It just made us all believe that we can do this: We can help make Thompson a great agency again.’


John Clinton, president of Grey Advertising in Toronto, worked for 20 years at JWT. He recalls a week-long training competition for teams from across North America in the early 1980s:

‘So we’re presenting to the chairman of the board, the CD and the president. This is the biggest [pitch] of your life.

We did ours [for a hypothetical Levi's campaign] and we had a very good presentation. And the chairman said: ‘I’ve never seen an agency say they’re not going to do new creative.’ And I said: ‘That’s just for the jeans part. We would do new creative for the cords.’

And he said: ‘I still find it funny you wouldn’t want to do new creative for the jeans….’ And then our planning guy, who’d been up for four

days, snapped.

He said: ‘Look pal, you asked us what we thought. We’re telling you. If you don’t want to buy it, we’ll take it to Lee.’ We lost the whole thing there [and a $5,000 prize], and up to that point we were winning. But it was like real life.’


Alan Middleton, now the assistant professor of marketing and executive director of the executive education centre at the Schulich School of Business at Toronto’s York University, was with the Canadian operation from 1975 to 1989. He recalls the party-hard days of the 1970s:

‘I once drove my Ford Mustang into a lake at a JWT party. This was up at Delawana Inn in the Muskokas. I was turning my car around to park it – because I was drunk and I wasn’t going to drive home – and I went slightly too far, and the car flipped over the dock into the lake. I had to swim out. As you can imagine, it cost me large sums of money [to drag it out] and much embarrassment the next day when everyone heard what happened.’


Ted Nation president of Yield, was with the company from 1982 to 1998, holding various positions at JWT offices around the world and departing as president and CEO:

‘When I was an account exec/supervisor from 1982 to 1985, JWT was the prestige advertising firm in Canada. It had Ford, Labatt, the Bank of Montreal, Nortel, Pepsi, Burger King. There wasn’t a major advertiser in a major category that wasn’t at JWT. There was tremendous pride in the agency, because they had created the Pepsi Challenge in Canada and Labatt’s Blue balloon [for instance].’

Marlene Hore, now a partner at Edell, a Toronto agency, was hired in 1971 as a copywriter, and would leave in 1993 as national CD, EVP of the Canadian company and an EVP of the global parent:

‘There was J. Walter Thompson and then there was everybody else [in the Canadian ad industry of the 1970s], and so they had the best of the best – really bright people and it was exciting. I used to get up in the morning and go ‘I can’t believe I’m so lucky to be working here.”