Up to the Minute: Corby’s new social AOR

Plus: New leadership in PR, Relevention rebrands, Starcom's new CEO and other news you may have missed.


The marketing world never sleeps, which means there are bound to be things that fly under your radar. To make sure you’re up to speed, here’s some news you might have missed over the last week:

Agency hires, moves and changes



 National Public Relations has hired Stephanie McGrath (pictured, right) as director of content strategy in its Halifax office. McGrath joins from Halifax business tech company T4G, where she helped establish its digital marketing arm T4G Kick as storytelling and content strategy lead. McGrath started her career as a journalist, working as entertainment editor at Canoe, AOL and MSN and has been a contributor to Huffington Post Canada and The Chronicle Herald.

UTTMdot Sherrilynne Starkie has been promoted to EVP at Thornley Fallis Communications. Starkie, who is currently also the EVP at IABC Ottawa, first joined Thronley Fallis in 2011 as an account director before being promoted to VP in 2013. Starkie will divide her time between the firm’s Ottawa and Toronto offices

UTTMdotAfter seven years, B.C. full-service agency Relevention Marketing has rebranded as Crew Marketing Partners. Founded in Abbotsford, B.C., the agency opened a second office in Kelowna last year.

UTTMdotSonia Carreno has been named president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada. Carreno was previously VP and head of Performics Canada, a search and digital marketing agency owned by Publicis Groupe. She replaces Barbara Smith, who had been filling the president’s role in the interim following the departure of Chris Williams at the end of 2014.

UTTMdotDavid Professional Photo 2Mississauga’s Influence Marketing has grown its senior ranks with a promotion and three new hires. David Balsdon (pictured, right), who joined as VP of retail in 2010, has been promoted to SVP. Micheline Vaughan has been hired as group account director, coming over from Loblaw, but also having worked with shopper marketing-focused agencies like OgilvyAction and Talon Retail Strategies, as well as Isobar Canada. Ethan Zon, who previously worked at Influence as an account director before leaving in 2012, has returned as director of strategy and client service. Anastasia Tassopolous, formerly a senior account director at Black Rock Marketing Group, has also returned to the agency after leaving in 2008, having been hired as an account director.

UTTMdotThe Montreal office of Cohn & Wolfe has hired Chad Jeudy-Hugo as a director. Jeudy-Hugo joins from Belgian PR firm Kreab Gavin Anderson.

UTTMdotCraig Roswell has been promoted to VP and group leader of procurement and trade at Hill + Knowlton Strategies in Ottawa. Roswell joined the PR agency in 2011 as a senior associate in the procurement and trade division, which he will now lead.


New business

UTTMdotCorby Spirit and Wine has named Gravity Partners as its new social media agency of record. Gravity, which uses real-time analytics for strategic executions, will drive social engagement for a selection of Corby’s brands. Those include J.P. Wiser’s and Polar Ice, as well as Absolut, Malibu, Havana Club, The Glenlivet‬‪, ‪Jacobs Creek‬, ‪Stoneleigh, ‪Campo Viejo‬ and Jameson through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A.

UTTMdotParadigm Public Relations has been selected as the Canadian communications agency for U.K.-based auto insurance company Ingenie. The company, which targets young drivers, was one of the first of what has become a growing number of auto insurance providers that use telemetrics to measure driving and offer discounts. Paradigm has been tasked with developing and executing campaigns on traditional and social platforms that will grow Ingenie’s presence in Ontario before moving on to other provinces.

UTTMdotToronto-based PR agency Karyzma has been named PR agency of record for Inglot Cosmetic, leading strategy, media relations, influencer programs and consumer engagement in Canada.

UTTMdotOpen has been named AOR for Montreal-based outdoor footwear brand Kamik. Open won the account after a competitive review and will handle strategy and creative on a global scale. The first work is expected to be in market this fall.

UTTMdotNKPR has been chosen as the PR agency for Line Knitwear. The agency will develop a North American public relations strategy for the premium Canadian label as it looks to expand into the U.S.




alexandraPanousis-300x285Alexandra Panousis (pictured, right) has been named CEO of Starcom MediaVest, taking over for the departing Bruce Neve.

UTTMdotOMD has promoted Shane Cameron to chief innovation officer as the media agency looks to expand its digital data focus.

UTTMdotGoogle is testing an expansion to its DoubleClick platform that will allow partners to manage their own data, as well as data from third parties.

UTTMdotNielsen has added mobile measurement to its Digital Ad Rankings in Canada. The program was first implemented in the U.S. last summer.

UTTMdotCBC’s newly-formed Media Solutions Group has added Karen Eckert as director of multiplatform media solutions. Eckert was previously director of retail sales at Bell Media.

UTTMdotRetailer Birks has launched a bi-annual lifestyle magazine through a partnership with St. Joseph Media’s content development division Strategic Labs.