123w bolsters its roster with a hiring spree

The agency's young office in Toronto is nearing 20 full-time staff.
123w - Group Photo

123w is continuing with the “biggest hiring spree” in its history, having added 10 new Toronto staff and two in Vancouver.

“We’ve gone on a run with a bunch of new clients,” says Scot Keith, co-founder, president and CEO. Recent wins include dating app Plenty of Fish, Hello Fresh, GeoComply, South Seattle Tourism, Salt Spring Coffee, Chartered Professional Accountants of BC, Breast Cancer Society of Canada, and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. There’s also been organic growth with existing clients, Keith says.

“We didn’t have one person in Toronto less than two years ago and now we’re close to 20 with plans on further expansion,” Keith says.

According to the agency, as it expands, the focus is on developing depth not only in creative talent, but also in thought leadership, brand thinking and digital prowess.

Creative director Allan Topol began with the agency this week, joining from Rethink Toronto where he worked on Kraft Dinner, Molson, Coors Light, The Keg and Scotts campaigns.

In April, Colin Carroll  joined the agency in Toronto as a group strategy director, along with senior creative team members Troy Geoghegan and Kyle Waye Carroll. All three joined from John st. where they worked on brands such as President’s Choice, No Frills, Boston Pizza, KFC and Home Hardware. They also worked with Mo Bofill, who was brought on as a partner to help establish 123w’s Toronto office in 2020.

Junior copywriter Bethany Garrard has been hired from Momentum, and will partner with art director Katy van Nostrand, who is taking her first role out of Miami Ad School. In February, CD of digital design Justin Close joined 123w to bolster its digital strength. Close was previously with Fjord (part of Accenture), where he was digital design manager.

The latest additions join a number 123w made in Toronto at the end of 2021, including CD and art director Steven Kim who joined 123w from Giants and Gentlemen, as well as ACDs Jesse Wilks and Gerardo Agbuya, who came from San Francisco at social agency MUH-TAY-ZIK/HOF-FER but also have experience at John St.

At its home base in Vancouver, 123w also hired strategist Jared Gill in the fall from Cossette Vancouver, where he worked on clients including Flight Centre, McDonald’s, Sephora, Telus, and Travel Yukon. In December, account manager and producer Aliya Tarmo joined coming off of roles at agencies in Melbourne, Australia.

The pandemic hit our business hard, and then we absolutely thrived,” Keith explains. “We embraced this new world. Where talented people with great character can be anywhere. We have people all over the place.