TBWA\Toronto, Juniper Park merge

Jill Nykoliation will head up the new shop, while TBWA's Canadian president Jay Bertram has resigned.

The partners of the new Juniper Park\TBWA, from left to right: CCO Barry Quinn, CCO Terry Drummond, CEO Jill Nykoliation and CCO Alan Madill.

TBWA\Toronto and Juniper Park have merged to create Juniper Park\TBWA, effective immediately.

Juniper Park president Jill Nykoliation has been named CEO of the combined agency, while Jay Bertram, TBWA\Canada’s president and head of the Toronto office, has resigned to “pursue other opportunities” and will depart the agency at the end of September.

Nykoliation will lead the office with Terry Drummond, Alan Madill and Barry Quinn (who had been ECDs at Juniper Park but will take on chief creative officer duties at the new agency), reporting to TBWA\Worldwide president and CEO Troy Ruhanen. Gerald Kugler and Rodger Eyre, who were both promoted to ECD in June, retain their positions, as do Juniper Park CDs Christina Gliha, Andy Lindardatos and Hylton Mann and TBWA CD Susie Lee, all of whom will report to the new CCOs.

“[Drummond, Madill and Quinn] were the creative leaders of Juniper Park and will continue to be leaders of the larger entity,” Nykoliation told strategy. “But that structure leaves room for us to have a very strong, senior creative bench, which expands right on to design and digital.”

The two agencies will combine their staff in the Juniper Park office space next month, which will continue to be run by Juniper’s general manager David Toto. TBWA’s Calvin Daniels, who was promoted to head of client services in March, will retain his role, as will Mark Pileggi as director of digital operations. Nykoliation says that while leadership has not begun to look at potential redundancies in the combined staff, she anticipates any that come up to be “very specific” and resulting in very few layoffs, if any.

“You’ve got two offices here that were extremely complementary,” Nykoliation says. “TBWA has a strong legacy in iconic creative and a strong digital and social team under Mark Pilleggi, and our office is very strong in the design and strategic sensibilities that ground our creative. If each leadership team looked at ways they could make themselves stronger, it’d be dipping into what the other has. This way, we’re hitting the ground running with one unified team.”

Bertram joined TBWA\Toronto as president in 2002. His purview was expanded to cover all of TBWA’s operations in Canada and Latin America in 2011, but was moved back to focus solely on the Canadian market in March as part of number of executive changes across the TBWA network. It was around that same time that Juniper Park was moved to the TBWA network by holding company Omnicom, part of Ruhanen’s goal to organize the network by specialization and expertise instead of a strict regional structure. While they were operating separately at the time and collaborating as Juniper’s design expertise was needed, in a press release today, Ruhanen said combining the agencies’ complementary strengths “became too great an opportunity to resist” and gives the network a presence that’s “stronger than ever” in the three major North American cities (Toronto, New York and L.A.)

The combined client roster of Juniper Park\TBWA includes CIBC, Nissan, Eos, Miller Lite, PepsiCo, Petro-Canada, Pfizer and Virgin Mobile. Nykoliation says there were no client conflicts in bringing the two agencies together.

Juniper Park also has a history of working with clients across North America, including past campaigns in the U.S. on Lay’s and Quaker for PepsiCo, as well as using its experience with the brand to help TBWA\Chiat\Day win the Miller Light account in the U.S. Other U.S.-based clients include Del Monte and Big Heart Pet Brands.

“The fact that we’re trusted by American clients out of Toronto is something unique to our region and that will absolutely be one of our strengths going forward,” she says. “To me this is a story of ‘ands.’ You have skill sets sitting next to you that you never had and can now learn from. Just showing up, our staff gets to learn more and apply it to different categories, industries and put their skill sets in different places. And our clients get to have that benefit too”

While files from Harmeet Singh