Dentsu acquires Bos

The partnership gives Bos access to international markets, while bolstering Dentsu's reach in Quebec.
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Dentsu Canada has acquired Bos, to form DentsuBos, helping to bolster its Quebec reach, says Bob Shropshire, formerly president and CEO of Dentsu now chairman of the new agency.

“The reason we set out a couple of years ago to find a partner in Quebec, [was because] we wanted to be fully capable on a national basis,” he says.

The full acquisition of Bos will see the former independent agency’s partners Claude Carrier and Michel Ostiguy maintain leadership as presidents of the Toronto and Montreal offices respectively, while Ostiguy will also retain the CEO title. Former Bos CCO Roger Gariepy will remain as creative head of the new agency, while Dentsu’s Andy Manson will remain ECD. The two Toronto offices will merge at Dentsu’s Spadina location.

Discussion for the partnership began 18 months ago when Carrier and Shropshire began discussing whether Bos would remain independent forever while the pair sat on the ICA board together, says  Carrier.

“As an independent agency, for almost 25 years, you ask yourself, how do you keep growing, where do you go from where you are, how do we access clients that maybe we can’t access now,” he says, adding the acquisition will give Bos more reach for its clients on both a national and international scale.

“Canadians have been portrayed as not paying enough attention to China, well now we can help Canadian companies who are interested in China to set a foothold, because Dentsu is the number one agency [there],” Carrier says. He adds that Dentsu’s heavy investment in R&D (it has a media lab in Tokyo and a partnership with MIT’s media lab in Massachusetts) was also a big draw for the home grown-agency.

“They invest tens of millions of dollars every year in looking at developing new ways [of reaching consumers], better understandings of the market, and that I believe is another way you stay ahead of the fray,” he says. “And as independent agency it’s very difficult to do.”