DDB retains Canadian Tourism Comission account
December 05, 2012 | Russ Martin | Comments
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has selected incumbent agency DDB Canada as its agency of record following a review. The organization announced it will continue its 8-year relationship with DDB on Wednesday.
Greg Klassen, senior vice-president of marketing strategy at the CTC, said his team selected DDB for another 5-year contract because of its strategic capabilities. “They understand client challenges and how to use communications, regardless of channel or media, to overcome them and get sales,” he said.
Because the CTC is a crown corporation, its reviews must adhere to standards set by the government as well as its board of directors, including a mandatory review every four to five years, Klassen said. He admitted that incumbent agencies will often complain about reviews, especially when ads are performing well, but said he thinks the process ultimately leads to better work.
“To me, putting them through a competitive process every four or five years makes them focus on what’s really important to their client,” he said. “It changes them a bit, makes them a bit more innovative, a bit more competitive. The result is that we get much better work.”
The review started as a web seminar that approximately 100 agencies participated in. Of the 35 agencies that asked to participate in subsequent steps, the CTC selected five it believed had the credentials to run its campaigns. It then chose three agencies to participate in the pitch process, which asked each agency to create a plan for the organization’s communications in a target market.
DDB Canada president and COO David Leonard said the account was an important win for the agency and especially its Vancouver office. “It was by far our largest win of the year. It’s a cornerstone client for the company and certainly for the Vancouver office,” he said. “It was an absolutely vital win.”
Leonard said that Vancouver is a shrinking market. He said winning the account will help keep up the headcount at the Vancouver office, which laid off 10 employees in January.
The CTC is currently testing DDB’s first campaign since the review and plans to take it to market in early 2013.