WPP’s Mindshare network has launched a new specialist media unit called +49 Media, catering to U.S. and international brands seeking to develop media strategies and more efficient buying in Canada.
Based in Los Angeles, the unit is led by vice-president of business development Billy Poole. Poole, who reports into Mindshare Canada CEO Devon MacDonald, was previously at Bell Media—where he launched an in-house sales unit aimed at driving U.S. business into Canada.
MacDonald said the unit will cater to the “large concentration” of California area startups and companies looking expand their marketing efforts in Canada but which might not grasp the intricacies of the country’s media landscape.
“A company might be too small to be serviced by Mindshare in Los Angeles, but setting up a division that specializes in this makes it much easier for them to access our office and our offering here,” said MacDonald. “There is a distinct advantage for companies to work with large agencies in Canada because of our buying model.”
In a release, Poole said that Canada should not be merely regarded as a 51st state. Instead, he said, it represents an “entirely different world of media” requiring expertise and knowledge to navigate successfully.
Poole said that +49 Media’s focus is working with agencies and brands—both in the U.S. and internationally—that lack scale or have no footprint in Canada.
“We are uniquely positioned to help agencies and brands navigate the complex media landscape in Canada,” he said. “We help navigate government regulations, media suppliers and relevant platforms, and our expertise gives clients a comprehensive understanding of the diverse demographic composition of the great people of Canada.”
MacDonald said that +49 Media is specifically designed to help brands manage their traditional media purchases. “You can run biddable media from anywhere, but buying traditional media is very different,” he said, noting that +49 Media signed its first client within a day of launching.
The new unit is capable of working both client direct or as an extension of their existing agency team. “We’re not going to take their clients from them,” MacDonald stressed.
According to its website, 49+ Media’s services include media strategy, media planning and buying and media measurement and performance.