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moving at the speed of culture

Linked In told me a couple weeks ago that I have been leading Public Label Canada for a year. Wow! The pandemic may have slowed down the “normal” activities of day-to-day life, but time just seems to have flown by. I couldn’t be more excited about our Public Label team, and agency, and what’s ahead for us!

When I joined in March 2020, Public Label was an idea in development. An agency that would evolve from Match Marketing Group and offer channel agnostic creative solutions, above, below and through the line.

We launched in December with a proposition centered around being the catalyst for disruptive ideas by hacking into cultures to uncover and combine deep consumer motivations and profound cultural movements. Focusing on how consumers and shoppers engage TODAY, how they make decisions and what cultural movements truly influence the decisions they make, in real time. Tapping into these movements allows us to create richer experiences that yield more robust consumer engagements to help brands dominate their category. Creating a new agency brand during quarantine has been an example of our courage and tenacity and gives me so much confidence in our entire Public Label team.

Speaking of our team, we continue to build on our Canadian powerhouse strength with some amazing recent additions that I am thrilled to share:

Gary Westgate, my partner and Public Label’s Canadian creative director is simply amazing! For me, a huge part of an agency’s success is built around the partnerships that are developed by its leaders. Gary is a true partner and friend, in addition to an accomplished creative in the industry. He’s worked at the hottest shops like TAXI, Anomaly, Downtown Partners, Ammirati and Innocean and puts just as much care into crafting an in-store activation as he does a Super Bowl spot. He is a team leader, who brings the best out of our creative talent, and team!

Lynn Sivec is a thoughtful and focused strategist who honed her skills at Zig, CPB Canada, Ogilvy and McCann. She’s a pro at asking the right questions that uncover the kinds of insights that give our clients an advantage in the marketplace. Her passion for digging deep into culture leads us to untapping new opportunities for our clients’ brands.  She is relentless, and I love that as it always uncovers something new for us to build on!

Tim Binkley is a seasoned account leader who brings client experience from RBC as well as that from Leo Burnett, DDB, Publicis and Dentsu. He enjoys turning brands like Budweiser and Samsung into category leaders and is poised to do the same for our clients. His passion to drive the business, and our team, forward is focused and contagious!

Marjorie McKenzie has led some amazing client relationships with brands like Loblaw Companies, Google, Pandora and General Mills. She is a proponent of designing experiences that excite and resonate with our clients, consumers and shoppers. As a client leader, she builds trusted relationships by always seeking to understand and untap new ways to drive their business objectives. 

I’ve been honored to work alongside my North American partners. Eric Moncaleano, Executive Creative Director, Brian Cohen, CEO and Brian Kittelson, EVP Commercialization worked tirelessly with me over Teams and time zones and borders to launch Public Label. Josh Baze, EVP Strategy and Stephanie Sumner, SVP Growth are more recent additions to our leadership team and further demonstrate that we have attracted some of the best talent in the business. This is a team of people who truly care about doing what’s right and are aligned on our commitment to being a trusted partner to our clients. 

That investment in talent and resources is made possible because of our equity partner, Innovatus Capital Partners, who also see the bright future for Public Label and what we’re building. That’s a huge vote of confidence!

For those who know me, I’m a big proponent of fostering opportunities for women in leadership and have been beyond thrilled to join the steering committee for our EDGE initiative which elevates the power of diverse voices in the agency. It has become a really strong part of our entire agency culture and provides training and prompts discussions that make us an even stronger team.

But at the end of the day, it really only matters if what we do makes our clients successful. And that’s what makes me really happy about looking back on this past year. We are so lucky to have clients that have already seen the value in our new approach and evolving team. Clients like Scotts Canada who understand the value Public Label brings to their shopper engagements by truly understanding their retailer relationships and driving brand growth during the pandemic through their IAT relationships. Or Royal Canin, who continue to support our ideas to truly reach their consumers during this pandemic with new strategies that we continue to test and learn from in the marketplace.

Whew! It has definitely been a busy year. Bring on the next 12 months!

Written by Public Label’s SVP/GM Marketing Solutions Canada, Anne Dean

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