Publicis named creative AOR for Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire has chosen Publicis as its new agency of record, working on creative and strategy for the retailer’s brand, product, seasonal and loyalty program communications.

Publicis replaces Taxi, which held most of the Canadian Tire business for 16 years and declined to pitch to retain the business. The account was awarded to Publicis after “an extensive evaluation process,” said a release issued Monday morning. Leo Burnett also continues to work with Canadian Tire.

The decision to undertake an agency review came despite strong performance for the brand. It reached $3.92 billion in second quarter revenue, beating expectations of $3.85 billion. And in May it topped Leger’s list of the top brands in Canada.

The retailer is a perennial fixture in the top 10 because so many Canadians have a deep affinity for the brand, Leger’s executive vice-president, Dave Scholz, told The Message at the time. “Canadian Tire can do no wrong,” he said. “It’s been a tough year for us to shop there, but it’s still Canadian Tire. We trust, we value, we love that organization…

“Even though things have changed, and other retailers are losing reputation because things have changed, [Canadian Tire is] still around because it goes beyond the quality of products and services,” he said.

“We are thrilled to bring Publicis Canada on board as one of our agency partners,” said Eva Salem, Canadian Tire Corporation’s vice-president, strategic marketing in the release. “It’s clear their team understood our brand and the role we play within the retail landscape, but also our role within this incredible country.

“We are impressed with their people, and their marketing thought leadership, it’s clear their team understood our brand and its place, not only within the retail landscape, but also within Canada.”

Both Publicis and Canadian Tire declined to provide any additional comment.

In the release, Publicis said its work for Canadian Tire will draw on resources from across the Publicis Groupe network, including “enhanced data systems through its platform Epsilon, and other offerings from content creation, CRM, and sports and entertainment marketing expertise.”

The win also comes months after Publicis hired Joanna Monteiro as chief creative officer, and Publicis Groupe made a  move to expand its digital capabilities, including the reintroduction of Razorfish.

“Nationally, our agency has added tremendous talent to our team this year and, with our chemistry with Canadian Tire already charged, we are ready to do exciting, creative work,” said Publicis Toronto president Brett McIntosh.

“It’s so rewarding to see the investment we’ve made in people and talent pay off with a partnership opportunity like this one,” said Duncan Bruce, CEO of Publicis Canada. “Across all facets of our business, we’re aiming to create meaningful collisions of data, strategy and incredible creative to deliver for our clients.”

David Brown