The local outpost of DDB, formerly Palmer Jarvis DDB, is one of Canada's leading creative agencies, with four offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal. The latter opened in 2014, replacing an earlier partnership with independent Bleu Blanc Rouge. Widely recognised as one of the country's top agencies, DDB has been named Agency of the Year nine times by local trade magazine Strategy since 2000, most recently for 2014. At a global level it was Canada's most awarded agency in the 2013 Gunn Report, and has featured among the Top 50 no less than eight times, more than any other local shop (though not in 2016, an unusually weak year for the agency). It offers a broad range of services, either inhouse (for example, healthcare, shopper marketing, youth marketing and PR) or through linked agencies such as digital shop Tribal, shopper marketer Tracy Locke. There is also an inhouse PR unit. In 2015, the existing office of Rapp in Canada adopted the new name of Track DDB and was more closely integrated with the main agency. Design agency Karacters rebranded in 2017 as Twice. DDB Ignite is an accelerator programme operated by all DDB's Canadian offices to support disruptive start-up businessess. Frank Palmer - whose Palmer Jarvis agency in Vancouver was acquired by DDB in 1998 to form the current business - finally retired at the end of 2018 to launch a new start-up with former DDB account director Bob Stamnes. Brent Choi joined the agency from JWT as CEO and chief creative officer, but lasted only a little over a year before moving on. That prompted the return in 2020 of Frank Palmer, who merged his start-up into the Vancouver office. That now operates as Palmer Stamnes DDB (or PSDDB), with Palmer as chairman and Stamnes as CEO. Frank Brady is CEO of the three other offices. The management turbulence has thrown the agency off its game a little, and it has yet to regain its creative edge.
Capsule checked 21st January 2021
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Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Jul 2015: Omnicom appears to be rolling out a dramatic reduction of its global Rapp network. Following the elimination by WPP of the Y&R name in English-speaking Canada, Omnicom has followed suit by shuttering the Rapp brand locally. Instead that office has rebranded as Track DDB, in a similar move to the renaming of Rapp Germany earlier in the year. Other selected Rapp offices around the world will be realigned under the Track DDB name to strengthen the main network's CRM capabilities. Omnicom plans to split out the remaining Rapp network as a separate full-service agency, severing ties with DDB, into which it currently reports. As of this morning Rapp's website listed only nine offices globally, compared to around 50 a year ago. Separately, DDB Canada's ShopperDDB unit adopted the Tracy Locke name, aligned with Omnicom's US promotional marketing agency of the same name.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Sep 2014: Volkswagen consolidated creative duties in Canada into the local arm of its global partner DDB. The business had been handled by DDB's digital affiliate Red Urban and Palm+Havas. DDB Canada has in turn resigned its existing auto client Subaru.
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