Ad agency holding company giant WPP PLC is folding its Young & Rubicam brand in Toronto, combining it with Taxi Canada. Both ad agencies will now operate under the Taxi name out of the Taxi offices in Toronto.
Y&R also has offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Those offices will be unaffected by the change, according to a release.
The move is an attempt to consolidate agencies in Toronto that will work together to serve clients rather than compete against each other for business. The Taxi brand won out because it has had greater momentum recently, Taxi president and chief executive officer Rob Guenette said in an e-mail.
"The strategy is to streamline the Y&R Group advertising offering in English Canada. The objective is to better serve our combined client base," he said. "Taxi has critical mass, with deeper and broader scale, combined with several network wins of late – so it made sense to integrate under Taxi's brand moving forward."
Taxi has won nine pitches for advertising business in the past six months, including Cogeco, retailer Leon's Furniture, and Casino Rama.
Those wins have been important as Taxi attempted to recover from a major loss: the end of the agency's 18-year business relationship with Telus Corp.
There will be some "redundancies" in the move, Mr. Guenette said, meaning that not all Y&R Toronto employees will keep their jobs. He would not comment on how many that would be. Y&R opened its Toronto office in 1936.
Agency employees will report to Mr. Guenette and to Taxi chairman Paul Lavoie.
"This will create the best of both worlds in a more effective and efficient advertising operation," Peter Stringham, global chairman of Y&R Group, said in a statement. "Rob and Paul have been leaders in the market for years and have demonstrated that they have the best management team to lead this combined force. We look forward to more great things from them all."
Taxi had roughly 225 employees in Canada, and about 150 in Toronto. Y&R Toronto employs approximately 40 people, some of whom will go to Taxi and some who will be moved to other Y&R or WPP offices, Mr. Guenette said.