WPP Buys Canadian John St. Agency
WPP has acquired John St., one of Canada’s well-regarded independent ad agencies. Terms were not disclosed by the holding company, which said the agency had revenues last year of about $14
John St. clients include AstraZeneca, Kruger, ING Direct, Maple Leaf Foods and Tata. The agency won recognition last year for a Rethink Breast Cancer campaign that used a corral of celebrity beefcake to remind women to give themselves periodic self-checks.
The campaign, “Your Man Reminder,” was one of 10 campaigns named in 2012 by TED as “Ads Worth
John St. President Arthur Fleischmann, who will continue to lead the Toronto-based shop, said that the acquisition will enable the agency to provide a broader array of services that clients are now demanding.
"We see enormous value in being part of WPP," said Fleischmann. "We'll now be able to augment our current services in areas that clients are asking for, such as media, direct and public relations."
John St. was founded in 2001 and now employs about 100 people. WPP said that collectively, the holding company has annual revenues of $450 million in Canada and employs more than 2,500 people there. WPP agencies with a presence in the country include JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, GroupM, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Burson-Marsteller.
In 2010, Young & Rubicam Group, also part of WPP, acquired another well-known independent agency, Taxi, also based in Toronto.
For the holding company, it’s the third agency acquisition in two weeks. Last week, it confirmed buying majority stakes in a digital shop in Turkey and a mobile specialist in South Africa.