The Really Brief—Week of April 1

April 5

No Fixed Address has added two senior professionals to its PR team, hiring Katie Muir (above left) as PR lead and Jessica Goldberg (above right) as business lead. Both join from Citizen Public Relations, where Muir was vice-president and Goldberg a senior director. The pair will lead the communications strategy for Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Disney, Aviva, RBC Ventures, Hexo and other NFA clients.

April 3

Toronto agency Republic is launching a subsidiary agency called Zed that will focus entirely on “Gen Z”—consumers born between 1995 and 2003 with an estimated spending power of more than $150 billion. Zed is already working with the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity on the International Day of Pink, April 10..

The new agency is being led by Jacob Barnes as COO and Fiona Scott as managing director. They’ll rely on what they’re calling Zed Network, a group of 16- to 24-year-olds who will participate “in a variety of ways for clients.” “Generation Z was born with technology in their hands and they are in control of who and what they invite into their lives, hearts, and wallets,” said Barnes. “Brands can no longer just observe their lives and experiences to effectively engage with this unique audience.”

Tim Hortons is giving hockey fans a new reason to buy a kid’s meal: limited edition, reusable cups with one of the seven Canadian NHL team mascots. Tim Hortons just introduced its Timmies Minis meals last November. The meals offer a choice of four “entrees”—a mini melt, wrap, chicken strips or breakfast wrap snacker—with a side, fruit snack and drink.

April 2

Greenpeace is “straw-shaming” businesses using single-use plastic with Instagram protest stickers created by agency Rethink. People are encouraged to post an Instagram Story showing how businesses are still using single-serve plastics, like straws. Then, they can add one of three stickers of an animal—a bird, turtle or fish—over top of the plastic, as if swallowing it, and tag the business to deliver a powerful message about the business contributing to plastic pollution that is destroying the sea and killing wildlife.

In its own Instagram post announcing the stickers, Greenpeace called out Coca Cola, Tim Hortons, Nestle, Pepsi and McDonalds.

Sacha Ouimet is the new executive creative director for the McCann Montreal office. He joins from Forsman & Bodenfors, where he was executive creative director for the past five years. “Sacha is known for his insatiable curiosity and his keen sense of inventiveness, always looking for new ways to marry creativity, brand and business strategy. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we want to offer our creative teams and our clients,” said Mylène Savoie, president of McCann Montreal.

Anomaly has appointed Laura Rowan chief strategy officer for its Toronto office. Rowan arrives from Anomaly New York, where she was group strategy director on big U.S. and global brands including Hershey, Panera, YouTube, Google and NBC Sports (she worked on the gem below while global planning director on Budweiser). “With Laura at the helm, we can push our offering beyond awesome brand strategy and connections planning to include deep innovation strategy, digital transformation and ecosystem planning, ‘social that sells’ and performance marketing. All of which is as exciting to us as a category-busting piece of advertising,” said Franke Rodriguez, Anomaly NY + Toronto CEO.

Cossette has hired Tim Hoffpauir as creative director of design in Vancouver. Hoffpauir has spent 20 years as a designer and creative director in institutional, agency and studio roles. He has also taught design at Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the University of Alberta. “He’s driven, curious and has a deep passion for his craft, which will help Cossette elevate our design product as a powerful tool for our clients’ business success,” said Katie Ainsworth, ECD of Cossette Vancouver.

April 2
Brita Canada is ushering in Earth Month by partnering with “creative conservationist” Asher Jay for an ecologically themed art installation at Toronto’s Union Station. The 12-foot-tall “Niagara Now” recreates the world-famous waterfall using 900 salvaged plastic bottles, representing the number of bottles consumed and discarded every five minutes in Toronto. The installation also includes a single Brita Longlast Filter, capable of replacing all 900 bottles.

It’s estimated that Canadians consumer more than two billion single-use plastic bottles each year, and plastic bottles are a key contributor to the approximately 22 million pounds of plastic that enters the Great Lakes each year.

Conservation organization Polar Bears International is posting a themed poem on its Instagram feed each day this month, using the hashtag #PolarPoetry. To call attention to the shrinking sea ice, the poems will get progressively shorter throughout the month, with the blue of the water inexorably expanding to swallow the white of the ice.

The poems are written by Dylan Wagman, copywriter at PBI’s agency, No Fixed Address, and edited by Toronto author Sara Flemington. The illustrations are painted by art director Luan Pirola.

Zulu Alpha Kilo has announced a series of new hires, including Emmy-nominated director and executive producer Tom Evans, who joins from the U.K. as executive producer of the Zulubot content division. Also joining from Britain are strategist Charlotte Barber and account supervisor Nina Bhayana.

Other new additions include former Sid Lee staffer Martin Szomolanyi as creative director, digital and Jason Lee, most recently at Leo Burnett, as associate creative director. The agency further bolstered its digital offering with the hiring of Stephanie Gyles as digital strategist and Kasturi Kundu as analytics director.

New additions to ZAK’s client services team include account supervisor Shaunagh Farrelly and new business director Whitney Milne. The agency has also hired its first dedicated recruiter, Chino Nnadi.


David Brown