The Really Brief—Week of April 26

Toronto’s Arrivals + Departures has announced a series of new account wins and hires. In addition to landing the Re/Max business in October, A+D has also added Pet Valu, Montana’s BBQ & Bar and Sabra Dipping Count, while picking up additional assignments for Moosehead Breweries and RBC Ventures’ Ampli.

The agency has also promoted Katharine Houghton to vice-president, business director. Houghton has been with the agency since 2016, leading businesses including SkipTheDishes (which recently moved to McCann Canada), RBC Ventures, ConAgra Brands, and Ivanhoe Cambridge. The agency has also brought aboard Zeeshan Hussain as VP, business director. Hussain was previously VP, head of client services at The Mark, where he managed the Scotiabank portfolio.

“We are thrilled to have brought on some incredible new client partners and very talented team members,” said A+D president Mike Bevacqua. “It’s certainly been different to pitch and hire remotely and we can’t wait to get back to the office and all be able to meet in person once it’s safe.”

Toronto Raptors fans are experiencing an unusual sense of anxiety this year, as the team is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Coors Light has come up with a heavy (though light-hearted) idea to help those angsty fans chill out: a weighed Raptors hoodie.

The hoodie weighs 10 pounds and is made “using the same technology as a weighted blanket, which is popularly known for its calming properties,” reads a release from the official beer of the Raptors. Fans can win a hoodie through a social-based chance-to-win giveaway, but they can also be purchased for $120 through the Molson Coors “ship & sip” ecommerce site.

Diamond has made two additions to its leadership team with the hiring of Lorri MacDonald as executive vice-president of account management, and Jordan Markowski as vice-president of digital.

MacDonald joins from John St., where she was client service director, and before that held senior positions with Forsman & Bodenfors and KBS+ Toronto. Markowski was most recently with Edelman, and prior to that had client side stints with Nike and Maple Leaf Sports.

Diamond said the new hires follow new business wins and organic growth. Earlier this year, the agency hired Pete Gardiner as creative director, and Jinah Lee as associate creative director, while Josh Ellovich was hired to lead the agency’s U.S.-based partnership practice from New York.

Fuse Create has made two senior-level appointments, hiring Rita Steinberg (right) as director, digital media, and Jacquie Kostuk as director, creative strategy. Steinberg, who was most recently with WE Foundation, has helped build the agency’s newly formed media department, led by Luke Moore.

Kostuk joins Fuse from Grip Ltd. (now dentsu one) and will work alongside Fuse’s customer experience director Lanny Geffen, bridging strategy, content, product and creative with a focus on social media.

Fuse rebranded last May to put a renewed emphasis on its creative product. Also recently joining the agency are Nicole Raines in the agency’s studio, along with Danielle Mascarenhas and Robert Sarte in account coordinator roles.

Last month we told you about a new video in the works for the non-profit L’Arche Canada and Tonic DNA that challenges misconceptions about life with Down syndrome.

“Freebird” is a coming-of-age story about a boy with Down syndrome who, while cared for by his loving mother, must still deal with an absent father, a classroom bully, and a life-long crush. The full, very sweet, heartstring pulling video is live now.

David Brown