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Top Advertising Agencies in Canada

There is no accepted ranking of Canada's top advertising agencies by billings. The closest is a ranking by the number of creative awards collected during the course of the year, compiled by local trade magazine Strategy:

Strategy Magazine's "Most Creative Agencies" in Canada 2016

Leo Burnett Rethink
Leo Burnett Canada Rethink

The Toronto outpost of Leo Burnett vies with DDB for the title of Canada's most creative agency, and has enjoyed a run of success in the past couple of years. It was the network's own Agency of the Year for 2011 in its annual inhouse awards, as well as runner-up in local trade magazine Strategy's creative report card for 2014.

Rethink is an independent advertising and design agency with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. It was launched in 1999 in Vancouver by three senior staffers from the Palmer Jarvis agency, who jumped ship to launch their own business shortly after their employer was acquired by DDB.

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Lg2 Cossette
Lg2 Cossette

Lg2 is an independent advertising and design agency specialising in Francophone marketing for the Quebec region. Though small, Lg2 punches above its weight creatively, featuring regularly among Canadian national awards rankings. It was founded in 1992, and is still run by, Sylvain Labarre and Paul Gauthier.

Cossette is Canada's leading Francophone agency, dominating Quebec's ad market for more than 30 years. The group also has subsidiaries in English-speaking Canada. Until recently it was the core business within marketing group Vision7. It was acquired in 2014 by Chinese group BlueFocus.

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BBDO Canada

Headquartered in Toronto, BBDO also has offices in Calgary and Montreal (as Nolin BBDO). It was formed from a series of acquisitions, including Baker Lovick and Canada's oldest ad agency McKim, founded in 1899. BBDO Canada was Strategy magazine's Agency of the Year for 2011.

Billing itself as a "design and experience studio" digital agency Jam3 crashed the creative rankings in 2016 with a cupboard-full of awards for its bold creative campaign for the MTV Video Music Awards, as well as a digital film to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.

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Grey Zulu Alpha Kilo
Grey Canada John St

The local outpost of Grey Advertising has offices in Toronto and Vancouver. Once one of the country's top agencies, performance faltered towards the end of the 2000s. Stephanie Nerlich was hired from Lowe Roche to become president & CEO in 2011, and has overseen a steady revival of the business.

Zulu Alpha Kilo is the iconoclastic indie owned and run by creative director Zac Mroueh. Though the agency handles a small number of big name clients, it is perhaps best known for several outspoken campaigns on behalf of industry issues, for example knocking "no fee" client pitches.

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J Walter Thompson DDB
DDB Canada

J Walter Thompson is one of Canada's leading creative agencies, with offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Though it manages a sizeable roster of clients, the agency is perhaps best-known for its long-standing relationship with Canada's favourite coffee bar chain Tim Hortons.

The local arm of DDB, formerly Palmer Jarvis DDB, has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal. Widely recognised as one of the country's top agencies, DDB has been named Strategy's Agency of the Year nine times since 2000, most recently for 2014, and has won more awards than any other Canadian agency.

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See also

MDC Partners Aimia

Top Media Agencies in Canada

Recma Top 5 2013 Other Leading Agencies
OMD M2 Universal Media Experts
ZenithOptimedia Cossette / Jungle Media Carat
MediaCom Starcom MediaVest Havas Media
Mindshare Genesis Vizeum Initiative


Marketing magazine Strategy

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