Up to the Minute: The Mark continues to grow

Plus, V7 launches mar tech consultancy and Shine Influencers opens shop in Montreal.

Hires and promotions

Toronto agency The Mark has roughly doubled its headcount since the arrival of president Tracy Smith last spring, adding a number of hires in creative and account services. Most recently, it has added Zeeshan Hussain as VP and head of client services, Michael Porfirio as a copywriter and Erin Kil as a controller. They begin next week ahead of an agency rebrand planned for later this year.

Montreal shop Bob has added a new team in account services. Philippe De L’Étoile takes on the role of account director alongside Emmanuelle Auffray, who steps in as lead account manager. De L’Étoile hails from Cossette, Union, Réservoir and Cora Restaurants and Auffray from Ogilvy and Steel Space Concepts, an event marketing agency in Quebec that specializes in shipping container setups.

Three members have joined the Toronto team of Weber Shandwick Canada. Melissa Legaspi joins as VP of client experience. She brings agency-side experience working with Expedia, Red Bull, Oakley, PepsiCo Foods, Netflix and P&G. In addition, the PR agency has grown its earned, paid, social and influencer offering with the addition of  Akshay Muttreja as a manager and Alicia Yan as a senior associate.

New business and other news

Turkey Farmers of Canada has awarded Zeno Group Canada a five-year AOR mandate that includes leading advertising, digital, experiential, PR, influencer engagement and paid social. The goal is to target primary meal planners to raise awareness of the benefits of turkey and drive higher year-round demand and consumption. The work is being led out of Zeno’s Toronto office.

The PVW Group, a branding and design firm from the Greater Toronto Area, has further expanded its client base in consumer goods, beverage and spirits, having acquired PARO Strategic Marketing. Co-founder of PARO, Kristin Arnott, has joined the senior creative team and will lead its clients, including Wakefield Canada and HealthHub, through the transition period.

Shine Influencers has opened shop in Montreal. The agency specializing in PR, influencer relations and talent management already has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. According to the agency, the addition of a Montreal office and French-speaking division will allow it to execute campaigns across North America. Operations will be headed up by Cynthia Lee Bruneau, a former digital strategist at Montreal-based social agency Aura.

Soshal will look to improve the user experience and SEO for digital properties belonging to Groupe Média TFO, the French-language public media organization serving Ontario. The Ottawa agency has, moreover, recently redesigned the online newsroom of Rakuten Kobo after winning the business in November. Finally, the shop recently completed a refresh of Colliers Project Leaders’ digital properties, having worked with the brand since late 2017.

PR agency Pomp & Circumstance has been named AOR for Luminato, a Toronto international arts festival taking place in June, for which it will oversee media and influencer relations. The win follows other recent assignments with real estate developer Mizrahi Developments and sustainable eyewear brand Dresden.


Former Cossette Media VP of digital solutions Janice Liu has been tapped to lead a new Vision7 Media consultancy named Magnet. The new consultancy will focus on marketing technology and data, specializing in cloud technology, marketing automation and digital media. Liu will serve as the shop’s SVP and general manager (full story for subscribers of Media in Canada).

True Media has made a string of hires as it gears up to work on new assignments from Lakes of Muskoka Brewery and Turkey Farmers of Canada. Amid other hires, Alex Yee joins as strategy director in Calgary, while Sam Hwang and Marty Vaspa arrive as associate media director and strategy director, respectively, in Toronto (full story for subscribers of Media in Canada).