Up to the Minute: CMA names a new president

Plus, the ICA gets a new look, Birks signs on a new agency and more news you may have missed.

The Institute of Communication Agencies has unveiled a new brand identity as part of its new mission to “amplify, protect and transform the Canadian agency sector.” A new, more dynamic colour palette aims to freshen up the brand and help position the organization as one that’s passionate about its work for industry members. The new brand identity was led by the ICA’s head of brand, Gardenia Flores, and startup agency Field Trip Co.


The Canadian Marketing Association has announced John Wiltshire as its interim president and CEO. With more than 32 years of experience in marketing and product development, Wiltshire more recently served as SVP, marketing at Investors Group and will be stepping down from his current position as a member of the CMA’s board of directors to take on the new position. Wiltshire, who will officially join the organization on June 26, replaces Doug Brooks, who joined the CMA in 2015.

Jeweller and retailer Birks Group has signed on Toronto agency Cowan & Company to help support its public relations efforts in Canada. Cowan’s client roster has included L’Oréal Paris Canada,  Lancôme, Cara Operations and Jamieson Wellness. Meanwhile, Birks also recently appointed a new in-house senior manager of public relations. Geraldine Eckert was most recently manager of media relations for Chanel in Canada and she has also spent time agency-side with MSLGroup and HKDP (now Hill + Knowlton).

Toronto production company Partners Film has launched Budgie Content, an offshoot division focused on cost-effective digital content. Budgie includes a group of multidisciplinary artists and companies and aims to act as a facilitator between agencies and already established content creators. Day-to-day operations are being handled by executive producer Sandy Kelly and sales executive Jill Godbold.

Toronto-based boutique PR firm Strut Entertainment has been named agency of record for the Prince Edward Island Brewing Company’s launch of its flagship Beach Chair Lager brand in Ontario. The agency will handle PR for the brand along with a media and influencer event for the beer’s launch at the Beer Store this month.

Mississauga, ON-based agency Clever Samurai has announced an addition to its leadership team. Stephanie Hebb has taken on the role of vice president, client services, leading the account teams at the agency. Hebb has previously held account leadership roles at BBDO, Y&R, FCB and Ogilvy. During her career, she has worked with clients including  Burger King, Campbell Soup, CIBC, Xerox, Purolator, Sharp Electronics, Kraft, Lufthansa, Mattel, McCain, Microsoft, Nabisco, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Quaker Oats, RBC, Tim Hortons and Tropicana.

Play Advertising, based in Burlington, ON, as announced its new management team, following the death of agency founder Brian Torsney earlier this year. Shaun Waterman is now managing director, a role he assumed in January. Waterman was previously regional vice president and national sales manager for Elite Singles Canada, which he joined in 1999. More recently, the agency brought on Bill Parker in May as its new creative director. The copywriter and creative director has worked in the industry for 30 years, at agencies including Cossette, Ogilvy & Mather, and Bensimon Byrne. He joins a team that includes senior art director Jason Goncalves and senior graphic designer Carm Ciccone, developing work for clients including Turkstra Lumber, First Ontario Credit Union and Execulink Telecom.