Sarah Thompson named Dentsu Media president

Dentsu Canada has named one of Canada’s most respected media strategists president of Dentsu Media Canada. Former Mindshare Canada CSO Sarah Thompson joins the company a mandate to drive growth through innovation and fuel collaboration with other Dentsu agencies and offices.

Thompson spent the past year as CSO with Theo, the bespoke agency created by WPP to handle the Rogers Communications assignment. Theo, which pulled together resources from WPP agencies including John St., Taxi and Mindshare, was formally dissolved last month after Rogers moved its creative assignment to Sid Lee.

She also spent four years as CSO with GroupM’s Mindshare Canada,, overseeing marketing sciences, business intelligence, strategy, communications planning, content and new business.

Describing herself as a “data geek,” Thompson previously led innovative consulting and new product offerings for Mindshare clients. She was named the Canadian Media Directors’ Council’s 2020 media leader of the year, and has made local news investment one of her priorities.

“I’m so excited to have Sarah join our Canadian leadership, and partner closely with the media teams and our clients,” said Dentsu Canada CEO Stephen Kiely in a release. “Sarah’s industry-leading expertise and unique point of view will push our teams even further to help our clients win in the digital economy. Sarah’s vision and client-centric approach is vital as we work more collaboratively with our clients, and across our network to create ideas-led, tech-enabled and data driven solutions.”

Dentsu has recently been focused on bringing its three business lines of creative, media and CXM closer together to provide a more integrated offering for clients. Kiely has been overseeing that shift in Canada. Dentsu Media Canada’s previous chair and CEO, Alex Panousis, parted ways with the company late last year.

A strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community who was recently named to the jury for the Institute of Canadian Agencies’ Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity in Advertising (IDEA) Competition, Thompson also possesses what the company describes as a “clear and exciting vision” for bringing diversity and inclusion into media.

Thompson, whose long career in media has also included stops at Cossette, Mirum and Corus Entertainment, said that Dentsu possesses the talent, the drive for integration and “enhanced media capabilities” clients are seeking out in order to move their brand and their business. “Denstu has been leading in the attention economy, and at the foundation of that is quality and accountability for media,” she said.

“In Sarah, we have found a leader who expertly understands the foundations of the rapidly evolving media landscape, while also serving as an agent of change who is not afraid of taking risks to identify future paths to growth through media transformation,” said Dentsu Media, Americas CEO Doug Rozen.

Chris Powell