Who Does What Now—Week of June 27

New Business—Rethink

Wonderbrands (formerly Weston Foods and now part of the FGF group of companies) has selected Rethink as its creative agency of record, leading brand strategy, creative, and PR across its entire portfolio, including Wonder, Gadoua, D’Italiano, Country Harvest and Casa Mendosa.

“[W]e loved Rethink’s innovative and attention-grabbing work,” said Kelly Backer, head of brand marketing and category development at Wonderbrands. “The way that the agency brings a heightened sense of cultural relevance to its clients and brands—that’s exactly the type of work we plan to create together.”

Rethink recently collaborated with Wonderbrands on its award-winning “Heinz Hot Dog Pact,” which asked “big bun” and “big wiener” companies to ensure they had the same number of their respective products in their packages.

“Wonderbrands has a portfolio of incredible brands and we’re aligned on an ambition to do iconic work,” said said Rethink’s Caleb Goodman.

New business—Zeno Group

California’s tourism authority, Visit California, has selected Zeno Group as its agency of record for Canada following a multi-round RFP process that began last fall. Beginning in July, Zeno Group’s mandate will include strategic planning, creative, PR, travel trade engagement, partnerships, influencer, digital, social and experiential.

Zeno will promote California as the ultimate vacation destination through what it describes as “high-energy marketing campaigns” inviting Canadians to dream bigger and experience the countless wonders of California.

“Canadians have been dreaming of travelling again and as they look to experience a world away, that’s close to home, California is the perfect destination,” said Julie Georgas, managing director, Zeno Canada.

New Business—Zulu Alpha Kilo

Western Canada grocery retailer Save-On-Foods has chosen Zulu Alpha Kilo as its agency of record following a formal review. It is an integrated account that includes brand strategy, creative, digital development and production.

The account will be managed out of the agency’s new Vancouver office, led by Dean Lee and Michael Mayes as executive creative directors, and David Tremblay as managing director. “We’re thrilled to have been awarded such an important assignment with the Save-On-Foods team,” said Mayes. “We’re keen to bring some fresh thinking and breakthrough creative to the category.”

“They have a collaborative and flexible working style and the combination of Zulu’s strong strategy, creative and production capabilities stood out to us,” said Gillian Yorke, general manager, marketing for Save-On-Foods.

Appointments—Kinesso and Matterkind

Mediabrands has announced a series of appointments across its Kinesso and Matterkind units, which work together as part of its data, technology and media activation backbone.

Christy MacLeod (left) was promoted to executive vice-president, data and technology at Kinesso after spending the past two years in a VP role, while Michelle Primrose (centre), has been appointed Matterkind’s managing director. Erin Rahn, who has been Matterkind’s GM since 2012, has now added Kinesso to her portfolio.

“These appointments recognize the valuable contributions of these individuals to our business, and positions the teams for continued growth,” said Karel Wegert, who took over as president of Kinesso and Matterkind earlier this year.

New Hires—Initiative

Mediabrands’ Initiative unit has hired Sammy Rifai as chief strategy officer. He is an award-winning strategist with more than a decade of experience at agencies in Toronto and Vancouver, most recently as a strategy leader at One Twenty Three West.

Rifai will lead Initiative’s strategy team in what the organization describes as “smarter and broader” media thinking to inform the creation of rich, culturally led brand experiences. He will report directly to Initiative CEO Helen Galanis.

“We are thrilled to add someone with Sammy’s proven track record and passion for building cultural connections to our team to lead and inspire our creativity and innovation,” said Galanis.

New Business—Fuse Create

Sinai Health Foundation has selected Toronto’s Fuse Create as its creative agency of record following a review. Fuse becomes the organization’s strategic, creative and integrated partner, with a three-year remit that spans broadcast, digital, social, OOH, experiential and production.

Sinai Health is comprised of Mount Sinai Hospital, Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and system partner Circle of Care. Fuse will work to continue to raise awareness of the network and the care it provides while hitting ambitious donation goals.

“Creating a better future of care means telling Sinai Health’s story to the world with the same unbridled passion and drive seen in our physicians, staff and volunteers,” said Laura Hearn, Sinai Health Foundation’s vice-president, brand strategy and marketing. “Philanthropy is critical in funding world-leading clinical care and advancements in research. That’s why we’re so thrilled to have Fuse Create on board to help us share our mission and inspire others to give.”

New Business—Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett has retained the agency of record assignment for Metrolinx, leading strategy and creative for the government agency that manages road and public transport in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region. It continues a relationship that started in 2018.

Leo Burnett was won the accounts as part of a competitive RFP process led by the Advertising and Communication Services Procurement Branch. The agency will continue building both the Metrolinx and Presto brands.

“Leo Burnett continued to demonstrate that they are the best partner to help us build our brands. They have a thorough understanding of our business and bring a unique consultancy approach to unlocking brand value”, said Sharyn Byrne-Nearing, vice-president, brand, digital and product marketing at Metrolinx.

New Hires—Innocean Canada

Innocean Canada has added two new members to its senior leadership team. Tyler Brown has joined as SVP, client services, assuming leadership for the Hyundai and Genesis accounts, including overseeing all brand and retail initiatives in Canada.

Brown was previously managing director at VMLY&R New York, and held the same role at Taxi Toronto. He has also held account service roles at Union and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Mylene Savoie has joined the agency as VP, group account director, leading the Kia Canada business in Montreal. A seasoned ad executive with more than 25 years of experience, Savoie worked at agencies including John St., McCann Montreal and Tank Worldwide.

New Hires—Tank Worldwide

Tank Worldwide has hired two acclaimed international creatives, with Sebastián Benítez González (left) joining as group creative director, and Camilo Monzon Navas as associate creative director.

González’s work has been recognized by the world’s most prestigious ad shows, including Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Clios and The Andys. He joins Tank after spending the past 13 years at Grey Colombia.

Navas spent eight years at Grey, where the two were responsible for the acclaimed campaigns “Earth is Saying,” a Twitter account using satellite and climate monitors to automatically generate tweets related to the climate crisis, and “The Game That Never Was,” which stitched together audio from Brazilian club team Chapecoense’s most memorable matches to imagine the 2016 South American Cup Finals, a match that didn’t happen because most of the team died in a plane crash.

North Strategic’s creative content hub, Notch Video, has hired Stef Fabich as senior VP of creative and integrated production. He will lead a newly reorganized team alongside senior producers Alexandre Ablaza and Brian Gasparek.

According to Notch, Fabich possesses a “unique understanding” of how to integrate various teams across a national and international network—a skill that will enable it to enhance client work, boost creative output and drive business growth.

“As long admirers of Stef’s sharp creative eye and his bold approach to production, we’re thrilled to welcome him to the family,” said Jess Savage, CEO of MSL Canada, parent company of North Strategic and Notch Video. “We wanted a daring creative voice and savvy business mind to shepherd Notch through its next stage of growth, and we’re thrilled to have Stef on board as leader.”


Chris Powell