McCann Montreal hires new strategy lead

Badr El Fekkak will lead planning for the office's key accounts and will support national clients looking to have an impact in Quebec.

McCann Canada has hired Badr El Fekkak to lead its strategy department in Montreal.

As VP of strategy, El Fekkak will lead strategic planning for the office’s key clients, which include Nespresso, L’Oréal, Maybelline, GM and Export Development Canada, in addition to supporting work for national McCann Canada clients pursuing opportunities in Quebec. He takes over duties previously held by Jean-Francois Fremaux, who was hired in 2019 but left the agency to join real estate financing company Capital RPK this year.

El Fekkak spent the last year as chief strategy officer at Toronto-based brand consultancy Gram by Gram. Prior to that, he spent two years at Vice, leading its creative agency Virtue, and also brings strategic leadership experience from Bleublancrouge and Cossette.

Ryan Timms, president at McCann Canada, said El Fekkak’s knowledge of the Quebec market was “exactly what [the agency has] been looking for to lead strategy in Montreal,” in addition to the “thoughtfulness and perspective” he previously brought to clients including Sephora, Dove Men+Care, Canon, Cadillac Fairview and Ubisoft.

El Fekkak, who will also be part of the agency’s national strategic planning council, is the first major addition McCann made to its strategy leadership this fall, but it won’t be the last. The agency plans to announce its new national chief strategy officer next month, after Dustin Rideout, its former chief strategy officer, left the agency in January to join Juniper Park\TBWA.

In the spring, McCann Montreal also hired creative director Marie Eve Best, who has had a particular focus on the agency’s beauty clients, which came after hiring Dave Roberts as its ECD roughly one year ago.