Up to the Minute: Spring acquires Watershed

Plus, GCI Canada appoints a general manager and 1Milk2Sugars expands to the U.S.

Hires and promotions

Finalizing a deal that has been in the works since January, Vancouver independent agency Spring has acquired Watershed Communications Group. The deal sees Watershed’s Brian Musgrove and James Caron join Spring in a senior creative role and as account manager, respectively. Meanwhile, Watershed’s managing director Cam Landell is stepping down to work as a marketing consultant. Spring has also recently added Albane Rousselot as an account manager and Allison Neil as an account coordinator.

GCI Canada has appointed Kristy Derkson as general manager. She will work out of the agency’s Toronto office. She has PR leadership experience, having worked with clients in healthcare, marketing and corporate communications.

Chris Genuis, previously a senior account director at Ariad Communications, has joined Toronto’s William Thomas Digital as director of marketing and alliances, where he will work to grow the agency’s partnership with mar-tech providers. In addition, Danielle DeLaurier joins as director of client strategy, having previously worked as a senior account director at Vigorate Solutions.

Stephanie Thornbury joins the Inner Strength Communication team as senior executive of communication and marketing. Prior to starting her consulting career, Thornbury served in senior roles at Hudson’s Bay Company, including VP of corporate communications and VP of corporate partnerships.

New business

PR shop 1Milk2Sugars has expanded to the U.S. after having been the Canadian PR and social AOR for a number of U.S.-based clients, including beauty brands Artís LLC and Alterna Haircare. The firm has also announced a number of hires and promotions: Tyler Williams, previously PR director at Alterna Haircare, becomes director of U.S. operations; Ruth Goudie, who oversees the Toronto office, is promoted to head of strategy for client relations; and Emma Cusson is named head of creative and business development.

Toronto boutique PR agency Ireland+Hall Communications has added the Queen Street West BIA to its client roster. It will lead the rebranding of the Toronto neighbourhood’s business improvement area.


Canadian ad spending is expected to reach $11.52 billion this year and to exceed $14 billion by 2022, according to eMarketer’s latest global ad spending forecast. Overall, North America continues to be the top ad spending market at over $230 billion in 2018 (for Media in Canada subscribers).

YouTube has made changes to its Google Preferred product, the company announced last week. Changes to the platform include ad-supported original programming and a commitment to reviewing content by machines and humans for better ensure compliance with its advertiser-friendly programming (for Media in Canada subscribers).