Getting to Know… One Twenty Three West’s Allan Topol and Jared Gill

One Twenty Three West has made a number of new additions in recent months, as the agency continues to grow at both offices.

In Toronto, the agency has added 10 staff, taking the office’s total head count to 18:

Steven Kim and Allan Topol (top left) as creative directors; creative team Jesse Wilks and Gerardo Agbuya as associate creative directors; senior creative team Troy Geoghegan and Kyle Waye; Justin Close as creative director, digital design; the junior creative team of Bethany Garrard (copywriter) and partner Katy van Nostrand (art director). And joining the strategy team as a group strategy director is Colin Carroll.

In Vancouver, Jared Gill (top right) joined the agency as strategy director, while Aliya Tarmo has joined the account team.

“At One Twenty Three West, we’ve always believed in doing things differently,” said partner Mo Bofill, who joined the agency to launch the Toronto office in mid-2020. “And the people we hire also think that way. They are the ones who see the world differently than ours, those who challenge how we work and how we solve problems.”

We asked if any of the new additions to the One Twenty Three West team would tell us more about themselves by answering some of our “Getting to Know You” questions. Both Allan Topol and Jared Gill agreed to play along.

Allan Topol 

About that picture: I like to wear multiple hats. And I don’t mean that figuratively.

Favourite TV show of all time and why? The Wire. It needs no explanation.

Are you a sports fan: favourite team and favourite player? The Arsenal, Pat Lafontaine, Kenny Anderson, Dave Stieb’s slider. These names are very clearly dating me.

Movie you love that almost nobody else likes? Major League. I had a coworker who didn’t love it and it put a strain on our relationship. I still love you regardless, David.

Do you have kids: what are their names? LT, JT and Peanut. Our daughter doesn’t get the acronym treatment. We hope she doesn’t hold it against us.

Most important person in your life outside work? My wife. She’s the best. Reading this will make her day. Which will make my day. Hey E.

Most important person in your professional life that you do not work with or for? My brother. He works at TikTok. He tells me why it’s the future. I tell him I’m working on a long-form video for social. He tells me that might not be best practice. It’s perfect.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Stefan Edberg 2.0.

Nicest thing a coworkers said to you? Thanks for jumping in.

Favourite thing about this industry? Least favourite thing about this industry? Award show case study videos are the eighth circle of hell. Let’s just do case boards. The great ideas will still separate themselves from the good. The shit ideas will still be shit. And we’ll collectively earn back thousands of hours in our lives.

Jared Gill

Most important person in your life outside work? My wife, Shubneet, of course. And no, I’m not being forced to write this. *Blinking rapidly*

Favourite TV show of all time and why? Tough question, but I’ve got to go with Black Mirror. I love how they take current societal trends or technologies and predict where they might lead humanity. Usually down the darkest, but still conceivable, timeline.

Do you have pets: what are their names? A yorkie named Bella, and a pitbull named Kano, who recently passed away. Though Kano shared his name with one of the bad guys from Mortal Kombat, he was a good boy.

Are you a sports fan: favourite team and favourite player? Being a basketball fan from Canada this is a no-brainer: The Toronto Raptors. That said, my favourite player of all time is Kobe Bryant, who ironically, had an iconic 81-point game against the Raptors.

Favourite thing about this industry? All the incredibly talented, creative, and inspiring people I get to work with.

Least favourite thing about this industry?  Often we’re too downstream from the client brief, after a campaign has already been decided as the solution to the business challenge. With so many smart creative thinkers, agencies can come up with solutions to drive the business beyond integrated campaigns.

David Brown