In Brief: 1Milk2Sugars picks up Lowe’s account

Plus, Afterpay brings "buy now pay later" to more retailers, Peladeau takes over at Videotron and Fuse continues to grow.

Lowe’s names new PR AOR

1Milk2Sugars has been named consumer PR AOR for home improvement retailer Lowe’s.

Selected following an RFP process, the agency will be handling PR work for the Lowe’s, Rona and Reno-Depot banners, representing 470 stores across Canada.

This is the latest new business win for 1Milk2Sugars, having expanded its mandate with haircare company Henkel last month, adding assignments for Schwarzkopf Professional and Authentic Beauty Concept to a roster that already included the Alterna and Joico brands. Though best known for its sizeable beauty, health and personal care roster (which also includes L’Oreal, Pfizer, Emergen-C and Nivea), 1Milk2Sugars has a background in other categories, with clients including Marriot, Endy, Reitmans and Welch’s.

More retailers sign on to Afterpay’s instalment payments

“Buy now pay later” company Afterpay has grown its roster of retailer partners in Canada, letting customers at Urban Outfitters, Lululemon, Pandora and Shiseido make payments on their online purchases in instalments.

Globally, Afterpay currently offers its service to 86,000 retailers; in Canada, that roster includes Roots, Call It Spring, Bed Bath & Beyond and Banana Republic, on top of the new additions.

The “buy now pay later” option, allowing customers to more easily pay for purchases in instalments, has been a growing trend in ecommerce, especially over the last year. While Afterpay boasts one of the largest global rosters of partners, it faces competition from a number of other upstarts, including Canada-founded Paybright, with 7,000 retail partners. Though Paybright was acquired by U.S. payment company Affirm late last year, its roots as a Canadian-founded company have helped it partner with major retailers like Hudson’s Bay, The Source, Sail and Article, as well as global merchants like Sephora and Samsung.

Videotron president and CEO steps down

Jean-François Pruneau is stepping down as president and CEO of Videotron, effective Jun. 4, with Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau adding leadership for the telco to his remit to further solidify efficiencies across the two organizations.

Today’s announcement said Pruneau, who took the reins at Videotron from Manon Brouillette at the beginning of 2019, would be focusing on personal investment projects. Pruneau started at Quebecor in 2001, previously serving as SVP and CFO, and has held roles across Quebecor Media, Videotron and Sun Media Corporation.

Fuse adds two senior hires to its recent growth spurt

Toronto’s Fuse Creates has added to its senior team, the latest additions to be made on a wave of growth at the agency.

Jacquie Kostuk has been hired as director of creative strategy, working with Fuse’s customer experience director Lanny Geffen on strategy, content and production across the agency’s client roster, with a focus on social media. Kostuk is coming off of seven years on the strategy team at Dentsu One (formerly Grip).

Fuse has also added to its media team, hiring Rita Steinberg as director of digital media to help VP of media Luke Moore build out Fuse’s new media department. Steinberg brings client-side experience from the WE Foundation and Hudson Energy.

Other recent hires Fuse has made this year include designer Nicole Raines last month, as well as account co-ordinators roles Danielle Mascarenhas in January and Robert Sarte earlier in April.

With files from Mike Connell.