Up to the Minute: MSLGroup adds Quebec leadership

Plus: Wins for Bob's Your Uncle and Rock-It, and more news you may have missed.
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Hires, moves and other news

MSLGroup has hired Virginie Vincens as senior VP, providing leadership for the agency’s Montreal office. Vicens most recently spent eight years as public relations director at Chanel, but prior to that spent three years at MSLGroup as a senior account director. In a press release, Gayla Brock-Woodland, president of MSLGroup in Canada, says the hiring will allow the agency to focus more on the Quebec market, where it has seen a resurgance in interest.

Toronto editorial shop Rooster Post Production has hired Michelle Czukar as a senior editor. Czukar previously had a long partnership with Panic & Bob and has worked on a number of award-winning campaigns, including JWT’s “Better Tomorrows” for SickKids, Zig’s “Prison Visitor” for Vim and other campaigns for brands including HBC, BMO, Bell and Air Canada.

ClutchPR has hired Marsha Mowers as its new director of communications. Mowers, who was recently communications director at travel marketing and PR firm Connect World Wide, will join the agency’s executive team and strengthen its expertise in the travel sector.

The Communications + Public Relations Foundation (C+PRF) has announced its new board of directors, as well as a new governance model. Among the 13 new board appointments, Yanik Deschênes (head of global communications at Sid Lee) has been named the organization’s chair, Grace Diffey (VP of community relations at Hamilton Community Foundation) has been named first vice-chair and Blair Peberdy has been named second vice-chair. Going forward, C+PRF has committed to working more closely with Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), which will provide the organization with marketing, communications and administrative support that will put it in a more secure position to administer its scholarships, awards, annual fundraising and research campaigns.

The BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association (BCAMA) awarded the British Columbia Automobile Association its Marketer of the Year award. The BCAA was recognized for “successfully bringing its marketing team together into a cohesive powerhouse, drilling down into their research, making some hard decisions about how they operated and subsequently making fundamental changes.”

NKPR is bringing back its 26 Hours of Kindness initiative. Beginning on midnight Saturday and running until 2 a.m. the following morning, the agency and its staff will do 26 different good deeds in the community, ranging from clothing drives to student mentorship initiatives. The project began last year, when NKPR decided that instead of spending money on gifts for its clients and vendors, it would instead give back to causes that mattered to them.

New business

Bob’s Your Uncle has been named agency of record for Bullfrog Insurance following a competitive review. It’s first work for the brand is currently in-market in London and Hamilton, with a national campaign in the works.

Rock-it Promotions has announced a number of new client wins in the travel and hospitality category. The Toronto firm has been named Canadian PR agency of record for resort chain Club Med and for EAST, Miami, the first North American property for Swire Properties. It was also tasked with handling the launch of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, the first Canadian location of the Hyatt-owned Andaz chain.

Carlaw Communications has picked up new AOR assignments with two alcohol brands. It will handle national media and influencer relations for BoldWorks, a beverage agency which represents brands including Giffard, Joiy and Penderyn. It will also handle public relations, strategic planning and provide consulting in Ontario for The Exchange Brewery, a premium brewery located in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Media

Bell Media has launched Dias, a new content incubator that will focus on producing web series, as well as radio and music content. The incubator, which is funded by Bell but will operate independently, is being led by Canadian artist Sol Guy.

The New York Times is the first company to use Secret Location’s new “VUSR” virtual reality platform, which allows content creators to publish and distribute their VR content so that it is compatible with every VR platform on the market. The platform aims to solve the “fragmentation” problem in VR, where creators have been forced to optimize their content for a specific platform.