Taxi declines to participate in Canadian Tire RFP

After 16 years of working together, the retailer and the shop are forging new separate paths.

Canadian Tire has launched an RFP for its creative work that, once concluded, will bring an end to a 16-year relationship.

While invited to participate in the RFP, longtime creative partner Taxi has declined to participate. In a statement, the agency said the two companies “are choosing to forge new, separate creative paths.”

The current AOR assignment will conclude at the end of 2021, with several more Taxi-led projects and campaigns planned to debut before then.

In addition to creating the “Canada’s Store” brand positioning, Taxi has also been behind efforts that included the introduction of “the Canadian Tire guy,” the “Tested” product review platform, a wealth of holiday work and the award-winning “Ice Truck” campaign.

“We could not be prouder of our 16-year ride with Canadian Tire,” said Rob Guenette, Taxi’s North American CEO, in a statement. “Our partnership has helped to create the agency we are today and has been the creative canvas for some of Canada’s most beloved work.”

Canadian Tire did not provide further details about its RFP before press time, though Eva Salem, VP of marketing at Canadian Tire, praised Taxi’s work over the years in a statement.

“This is a mutually celebratory moment. We are able to end our relationship when our work is as strong as it has ever been. We are excited to see what our futures bring and celebrate each other’s future successes,” she said.

Though Taxi has been the retailer’s AOR, in recent years, Canadian Tire has also worked with Leo Burnett – primarily on its “We All Play For Canada” platform, some holiday work and campaigns related to its exclusive and private label product lines – as well as its own in-house creative team. It has also worked with Cartier on recent campaigns for the Mark’s banner, while an in-house team has led creative for Sport Chek.

On Taxi’s part, it has won the business for Circle K/Couche Tard and virtual health platform Dialogue this year. Emma Toth, the agency’s president, says it has “exciting plans” for its business in the near future, adding that Canadian Tire and Taxi “will always be partners, just now under a new definition.”