Less than two years after hiring WPP to create the bespoke creative and media agency Theo, Rogers has moved most of its creative business to Sid Lee, with WPP’s Mindshare retaining the media business.
Theo was launched in June 2020 with staff from Taxi, John St., Ogilvy, and Mindshare working as one agency solely for the Rogers business.
“Rogers is moving creative duties for Rogers Wireless, Home and Business to Sid Lee from Theo, the integrated agency WPP had created for Rogers in 2020,” said a short statement provided to The Message by former Theo president Paul Reilly.
The Fido business will return to Taxi, which held the assignment prior to helping launch Theo, while GroupM’s Mindshare retains all of Rogers’ media planning and buying business. “WPP Canada is working on finding appropriate roles for the other people of Theo within other WPP agencies,” said Reilly.
The move comes a few months after a high-profile executive shakeup at Rogers that saw former CEO Joe Natale forced out by chairman Edward Rogers in November, replaced by Tony Staffieri. Simone Lumsden—who had been hired by Natale in 2019 and was one of the key brand leaders who put Theo together in 2020—also left Rogers early in the year.
Former Quebecor and Videotron top marketer Myrianne Collin is now CMO at Rogers. As CMO of Videotron until 2016, Collin was a previous client of Sid Lee. And Robert Dépatie, who joined Rogers as president and chief operating officer, home and business division in December, was a former president and CEO at Videotron until 2013, and Videotron parent Quebecor until 2014.
Rogers declined to comment about the account changes, which The Message understands were only announced Monday. Word began spreading quickly around the industry today, with at least one source saying they were contacted by Theo staffers looking for work.
The shift spells the end of the short-lived Theo brand, which was launched in the pandemic’s early days. In the two years it worked on Rogers, Theo produced creative for the Rogers 5G service, the Ignite home entertainment service, and Fido.
“We wanted a single partner who could bring integrated customer journeys to life with powerful and strategic communications in all channels for our consumer and Rogers for Business brands,” said Lumsden when the agency was launched.
“Media and creative have been separated for way too long,” said then Mindshare CEO Devon MacDonald. “By combining our teams into a single force for Rogers, we’ll be able to create more interesting, relevant, and engaging work.”
With Sid Lee not part of WPP, the new agency assignments mean creative and media have once again been separated. Sid Lee also declined to comment, but did confirm that its creative co-founder, Philippe Meunier, is now acting as president and CEO after the recent departure of Vito Piazza.
Top Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons