Peer Review: The best of 2006

Which agency has shown the most improvement in creative work?

Which agency has shown the most improvement in creative work?

Fittingly, our Bronze winner Lowe Roche received the most nods. Other notable mentions included Dentsu and Doug Agency. And from our pundits to the east, the majority of the nods to went to Montreal-based Bleublancrouge from the agency’s peers in the province.

I think Lowe Roche’s work for Stella Artois, for Capital One, and for the Toronto Star are proof that Lowe Roche is moving forward thanks to the combination of Christina Yu and Geoff.

Andy Macaulay, Zig, Toronto

‘Dentsu’s Lexus ‘Moments’ ad is one of the best car ads to come out of this country this year.’

Judy John, managing partner/CCO, Leo Burnett Canada, Toronto

‘Blueblancrouge has reinvented itself by recruiting people who strive for new ideas. To create great campaigns, you need strong strategic planners combined with clever creative. They have Benoit Chapellier (VP strategic planning) and Gaëtan Namouric (CD) who work hand in hand. And they have a strong breed of senior partners led by Sébastien Fauré (president). They took an agency that was an old dinosaur and gave birth to something fresh and new. [And their campaign for The Gazette, for example] even made a French Quebecer like me buy an English newspaper!

Nicolas Massey, partner/CD, Amen, Montreal

‘In particular in radio, Doug Agency did really well this year. Their Clarica stuff has always been consistent; and this year [I noticed] its Grolsch and Rene’s Gourmet. It seems to me the work is better than it has been and better than what a lot of other places are doing.’

Donna McCarthy, CD, Dory Advertising, St. John’s

Which agency has hired the best talent?

Hands down, BBDO. Despite losing Martin Beauvais to Zig and Martin Rivard and Nicolas Quintal to Rethink, BBDO bounced back with the hire of Peter Ignazi and Carlos Moreno, best known for their work with the award-winning Bud Light Institute – capping a BBDO hiring spree, which according to those in the industry, trumped them all.

‘They’ve made some amazing hires in the past year. With most recent additions like Ignazi and Moreno, Adam Bailey, Andrew Hart (from Ogilvy & Mather) and Andy McKay (from AMV/BBDO) from the U.K., BBDO has bolstered an already stellar creative department. I expected it to parlay into great work and that’s what I’m seeing now. Their newest work for Campbell’s, Pepsi and Jeep is quickly making the rounds on adblogs and sites around the world. It’s

only a matter of time before that international notoriety translates into awards.’

Craig Redmond, VP/CD, Grey Northwest, Vancouver

Which agency has the most diverse body of work?

Taxi was the clear winner. Bigwigs Cossette and BBDO also got kudos.

‘I love the diversity of Taxi’s work. They don’t have an agency ‘style’ except maybe that it’s all smart. And while TV is still a dominant channel for their work, I love the surprising and arresting work they do in other media like putting a Mini in a cage with a sign, ‘Please don’t feed the Mini’ or the recent viral campaign they did for the Reversa skin care line. The productivity of the women at our office has dropped since that thing started making the rounds.’

Arthur Fleischmann, president/CEO, John St., Toronto

Which agency would you most like to work for?

Rethink. Overwhelmingly. When you’re hot, you’re hot.

‘I think Rethink has done an outstanding job at balancing smaller local clients with larger national ones without compromising their creative integrity along the way. And you gotta admire any agency that refuses to test creative concepts.’

Gary Watson, co-CD, Bos, Toronto