We Are Social fortifies its Canadian leadership

The shop has brought on two CDs from Gut and a business director who previously helped Labatt set up Draftline.

We Are Social- Karen King, Garret Tongue, Krisztina Virag-imageWe Are Social is bolstering its leadership team in Canada, adding a VP business director and two creative directors.

Krisztina Virag (above, right) joins the social-led agency as VP business director, responsible for leading all local and global client partnerships. Her appointment comes as the agency’s Toronto office expands following new business wins. Virag will oversee all the agency’s clients, including TikTok, MLS, Becel and General Mills, among others.

She joins Garrett Tonge (centre) and Karen King (left) on the leadership team, who were hired as CDs in June. They are tasking with co-leading the rapid development of We Are Social’s creative function, working alongside a team of copywriters, art directors, designers, and content creators. Their understanding of community-led creativity, culture, and conversations, the agency says, will complement the editorial practice led by Stephanie Hancock.

“Karen King and Garrett Tonge are our the first ever creative leadership roles we’ve hired in Canada, and Krisztina Virag is our first ever VP,” says Coby Shuman, We Are Social’s managing director in Canada, to whom all three hires will report.

According to Shuman, Virag has a wealth of experience partnering with some of the world’s largest brands within digital content, creative, data, and technology. He also praised King and Tonge’s versatility and ability to deliver on clients’ expectations for disruptive work, as well as tapping into emerging spaces across Web3, social gaming, and the evolving creator landscape.

“Together this story represents how We Are Social is maturing by adding a layer of senior leadership as our team is now over 30 people handling global and local brand work,” Shuman says.

Virag was previously head of Draftline, Labatt’s in-house social agency, which launched in 2019. There she built a 40-person integrated creative agency over the last three years to service the beer brand’s entire portfolio. Virag also held account director posts at DDB Canada and Cundari.

Tonge and King, meanwhile, join from Gut, where the duo oversaw all facets of social creative. Together they bring experience working on brands such as Doordash, Mazda, YUM Brands, and Google.

These new hires aren’t linked to specific new client appointments as, according Shuman, the shop is investing in this leadership layer to deepen its creative product for an existing client base, as well as manage the surging inbound demand for We Are Social creative services.

We Are Social will be looking to fill additional roles across creative, strategy, and account service over the next few months.

The shop, which came to Canada in 2019 as part of a partnership with Vision7, recently helped promote the design overhaul of Forty Creek whisky, supported Becel’s Kind Hearts Fund program and also Truss’ “LCBO” “Local Cannabis Beverage Outlet” campaign.