Breaking news…. (about us)

The story of The Message began nearly seven years ago, and today we start a thrilling new chapter. We are very happy to announce that we’ve been acquired by Campaign Magazine, part of Haymarket Media Group.

The Message joins the world’s top media brand covering marketing, advertising, and media. Started in the U.K. more than 50 years ago, Campaign now reaches across the globe, with a presence in the U.S., India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Turkey, and the Middle East.

Though its roots in the industry run deep, we share with our new colleagues a bold vision for the future and the belief that industry is undergoing transformative change. We like this line from its “About Us” page: “Campaign is championing the new breed of creative brand-builder—the people who are disrupting and re-shaping our industry—and exposing the mediocre advertising that turns off consumers and stirs them to download ad-blockers.”

“Whenever we look to expand our portfolio at Haymarket, the business, people and landscape must be the right fit,” said Kevin Costello, global chief executive of Haymarket Media Group. “We certainly found this with The Message, as it aligns perfectly with Campaign’s business model, already enjoys a specialist following of dedicated advertisers and marketers, and we’re excited to serve our content to existing and new audiences in Canada. We are all completely bought into what The Message stands for, the quality of its journalism, and its independence of opinion.”

So, what does this new chapter look like? We will keep doing exactly what we have been doing since we launched at the start of 2019, with two important improvements: First, we’ll be growing the team here in Canada, which means more of the Canadian content we’ve been doing all along. We hope to make that happen quickly, and if you know any journalists looking for work, let us know.

Second, we will be able to publish content from across the Campaign editorial network. We’re looking forward to sharing some of the world’s best coverage of important industry trends, issues, and ground-breaking work and thinking. In short, our product is only going to get better in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Beyond that, you’ll notice The Message and Campaign joint branding for the rest of the year, before a full rebranding as Campaign Canada early next year.

Jess MacDermot, global portfolio director at Haymarket Media Group—and the person who has patiently steered this deal to completion over the last several months—will take on day-to-day management responsibilities.

“We are so proud to be expanding the Campaign brand into such a vibrant and dynamic advertising market, which is currently going from strength to strength and increasing its significance on the global ad scene,” she said.

When people first suggested we start something new to cover the Canadian industry back in late 2016 and early 2017, the idea instantly resonated. Many journalists have dreamed of “starting their own thing” at some point in their career, but as anyone in this industry knows, media has become an extraordinarily tough business over the last couple of decades.

We resolved to give it a shot, and over the next 18 months or so, we ran into discouraging hurdles and seeming dead ends until we found two industry benefactors who truly were our angel investors: Stephen Brown and Mike Girgis both run successful full-time businesses of their own (Fuse Create and Dive/Big Digital, respectively), and have full schedules.

But they also have a love for this industry, as well as the courage and curiosity that drives all entrepreneurs. When we shared our vision with them, they agreed to personally back The Message.

We could not have been luckier to find these two guys, not just as investors and business partners, but as mentors and, we’re proudest to say, friends. We cannot thank them enough.

Later, as The Message was gaining momentum but still hadn’t taken off, we were fortunate to have another investor and partner join us: Libby Begg not only gave us a little more runway, but actually rolled up her sleeves and joined us day-to-day, building the business in important and meaningful ways. She’s super-smart with big ideas about the future of media—we also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Libby, and would not be here without her.

Finally, we have to thank all of our readers and supporters. You have been our champions and, just as importantly, our challengers; your unwavering support has been crucial in getting us to this point. We’re excited about where we go from here.

—David Brown and Chris Powell

David Brown