Rogers integrates creative and media work with WPP

The company combines the assignment for its brands with Theo, a new dedicated team made up of Taxi, John St. and Mindshare.

Rogers has consolidated its creative, media and analytics work with WPP, which has created a new, dedicated team to work across its lines of business.

Called Theo (possibly a nod to founder Ted Rogers), the new unit will integrate the assignment for all of Rogers’ consumer and Rogers for Business brands. The creative work will be split between Taxi and John St., and media will be handled by Mindshare with support from other GroupM agencies.

The new assignment begins immediately and the group’s first work is expected to be in market in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Rogers told to strategy that the decision was informed by several factors, including an RFP process and its prior work with Taxi. Taxi already works with Rogers on its Fido and Chatr wireless brands, and also helped launch the Rogers Infinite unlimited wireless plans last year.

Simone Lumsden, SVP and CMO for Rogers Communications, says the company was looking for a single partner to help it bring an integrated customer journey to life with strategic communications across channels. That kind of journey could cover multiple divisions at a company like Rogers, including wireless, cable, TV and radio channels, consumer electronics, retail and – increasingly – connected home and 5G experiences.

Lumsden joined Rogers in the CMO role almost one year ago, having previously worked at Telus when it created its own dedicated team with The&Partnership and Cossette called The Greenhouse. On WPP’s part, the holding company has a history of creating dedicated teams for clients, both globally and in Canada – last year, it launched Type 1, a unit for Volkswagen that, in Canada, is made up of talent from Taxi and Wunderman Thompson.

Rob Guenette, CEO of Taxi, said that while he was eager to build on his agency’s previous work with Rogers, he was “particularly excited” about Theo being integrated with media. Devon MacDonald, CEO of Mindshare Canada, said combining the disciplines would allow the unit to create “more interesting, relevant and engaging work.”

While Taxi is adding onto its share of Rogers’ work, the new assignment ends a number of other agency relationships split between different disciplines and lines of business. In 2018, Rogers extended its relationship with Omnicom, giving DDB the advertising and CRM work on its wireless brand, Critical Mass its digital assignment and a dedicated unit, called Red Magnet, its media. Those were on top of long-term creative assignments for BBDO (which continued to lead advertising and CRM for Rogers’ enterprise and cable divisions) and Publicis (which continued to handle corporate work).