Sep 20, 2019
Visit our sister site:

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Please Sir, I want some more. On TAXI selling itself.

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

TAXI, the agency which opened its doors in Montreal in 1992, based on the now quaint notion that …all you need is four people to start a successful agency – a great creative team, a good suit and a client, all of whom can fit in a taxi – discovered that its distinct brand of creativity soon needed a fleet. So it moved its headquarters from Montreal to new headquarters in Toronto and then opened TAXI 2 (1992, 2006), it opened in New York (2004), Calgary (2005), Vancouver (2007), and in Amsterdam (2009). It now employs around 400 people. The TAXI needs a limo.

More success. More ambition. More money.

Marketing Magazine named TAXI Canadian “Agency of the Year” in 2001 and 2005, and it won Strategy Magazine’s “Agency of the Year” award in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Then it took a short hiatus and won again in 2008. TAXI New York won the O’Toole Award for Creative Excellence from the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 2007 and 2008. It launched the BMW Mini brand in Canada, and its unconventional, award-winning work includes campaigns for WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Telus Corp., for which it designed the advertising to promote the Koodo discount brand. Needless to say, TAXI has been an aphrodisiac for its client, Viagra. Meanwhile, the brand, always huge thinkers, was feeling boxed in by the limitations of their resources, and seriously considering a source of seed money for expansion.

Enter Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell is the CEO of WPP group, (knighted at the New Year Honours 2000 Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom). In the event you’ve been capsized at an APPLE Store, unable to move and (of all ironies) Google either Sorrell or WPP or Y&R and the acquisition of TAXI - here are the Coles Notes of the transaction directly from the direct transcript from the WPP site:

“WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company, Young & Rubicam Brands (“Y&R Brands”), the global marketing communications group, has acquired all the assets of TAXI Canada, Inc.

This investment continues WPP’s strategy of adding the strongest creative capabilities in all services sectors and reinforcing its client capabilities around its Team concept. The acquisition of TAXI will also reinforce WPP’s services for its existing clients.”

The TAXI leadership team will continue to drive the organization, with Lavoie retaining his role as chairman and Rob Guenette serving as TAXI’s CEO. Lavoie will report to Peter Stringham, who is chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and TAXI will become one of the Young & Rubicam Brands agencies.

TAXI is a fantastic addition to our group. It will fit perfectly with the thirty companies at Young & Rubicam Brands that span the marketing communications spectrum offering another exciting dimension to create innovative integrated solutions,” says Stringham. “We also believe that their strong client roster will benefit from the wide range of resources and talents at Young & Rubicam Brands.”

The Brief spoke to Rob Guenette.

The Brief: Do you feel you have to answer to Big Brother now that they bought you? I’m thinking of this quote from the WPP website which sounds fairly brand unifying and authoritative.

We encourage and enable our companies of different disciplines to work together, for the benefit of clients and the satisfaction of our people. In the management of talent, the parent company plays an across-the-Group role.

Guenette: The only way we’d make the deal is as a stand- alone brand. The degree to which we collaborate is really up to us. And it would behoove us to collaborate with companies that extend our skill set.

The Brief: So there’s nothing Faustian in this tale?

Guenette: Being independent with a very small bank can be very scary times. Paul stole my line, but it’s my line! “We’re the same TAXI, with a bigger engine. “I don’t perceive any negative in this alliance with WPP. I don’t feel big brother at all. All I’ve felt is a helping hand. Same TAXI. Still out to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: This is what Marketing Magazine reported from Sorrell.

Marketing: (to Sorrell) Taxi now resides inside WPP’s Y&R Brands. How are they settling in?

The Brief: Am I the only one unsettled by this question of “settling in”? Sorrell’s answer is TAXI’s behavior so far is an A+.

Sorrell: We’ve already had some examples in the first three or four days of Taxi starting to develop relationships with other parts of the group who either have opportunities or challenges within Canada or beyond. …You shouldn’t think of Y&R Brands as being their sole [interaction]. You should view Y&R Brands as its portal into WPP.

The Brief: Remember that great agency, TAXI!

Guenette: In fact, to underscore (how this [deal] works in our favour) the day the deal happened, it was a Friday, and I asked Sir Martin for help with some global pitches in New York. By the time I got back to the agency, there was a message from him. He’d made the connections for us. Now that we’re within WPP, our clients have access to companies with all the necessary marketing and communications skills. Companies with strong and distinctive cultures of their own – famous names, many of them. We’re pitching right now with the help of Wunderman because of their skills in Direct Marketing.

The Brief: What makes this deal with WPP better than with one of the other (goliaths) in the advertising industry? Like Omnicom, Publicis or Interpublic.

Guenette: WPP founder, Martin Sorrel, is changing it to a business with very high creative standards. He’s the father of the “5-year earn-out”.

The Brief: The above refers to a structure wherein senior staff at WPP is asked to invest their money in the company and hold their shares for five years before payouts are possible through its share scheme. It’s a structure that insures very high creative standards. Sorrell says, “Rivals have it differently… I think this is a function of the UK. Omnicom can issue options at very low prices with very little criticism. Publicis, quoted in France, can put in incentive schemes without revealing performance criteria.”

Guenette: Our brand won’t change. It’ll attract very good talent because it’s a magnet for talent. Across pharmaceutical and telecommunications – TAXI tends to bring mold breaking work to that category.

Both Lavoie and I share an international appetite for our brand. We’d been talking about it for years. Globalization is for getting bigger opportunities. WPP can be a big help in globalization. TAXI wants to enter San Paulo, Brazil – WPP can offer seed money for that. We see TAXI in Asia… Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

We didn’t want to be 72 years old to open offices. You don’t need 50 offices to be global. Maybe you need eight. Getting a foothold into the BRIC nations, where telecommunications and many of our skill sets are huge…

The Brief: The BRIC nations include Brazil, Russia, India and China. Michael Penn, Global Equity Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the BRIC’s are “where the population growth is, where the raw materials are, and where the economic growth is.”

Guenette: We wanted to be more than just a great Canadian story – like the Four Seasons was a great Canadian story, but now they’re all over the world. Taxi didn’t want to be the best agency in Canada; we wanted to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: Thank you Rob Guenette. We wish you continued success and more.

In closing, here’s more from Sir Martin Sorrell for those independent Canadian Advertisers who dream of expanding globally.

Sorrell: In the last few years, Canada has been similar to Australia in that it’s an economy in two parts. There’s the normal economy, or what some may call the real economy, and then there’s the resource-driven economy. Canada’s benefited significantly from being extremely well-run from a government point of view and financial point of view, not subject to some of the horrors we’ve had to deal with in other parts of the West. I know [CEO] John Rose at Rolls Royce thinks Canada is a shining example of the way things should be managed. We’ve always had a high degree of respect for [Canada].

Sources:

On Sir Martin Sorrel

Rob Guenette

Quote from Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell’s 5-year buy-out strategy

Visit TAXI

Visit WPP

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Please Sir, I want some more. On TAXI selling itself.

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

TAXI, the agency which opened its doors in Montreal in 1992, based on the now quaint notion that …all you need is four people to start a successful agency – a great creative team, a good suit and a client, all of whom can fit in a taxi – discovered that its distinct brand of creativity soon needed a fleet. So it moved its headquarters from Montreal to new headquarters in Toronto and then opened TAXI 2 (1992, 2006), it opened in New York (2004), Calgary (2005), Vancouver (2007), and in Amsterdam (2009). It now employs around 400 people. The TAXI needs a limo.

More success. More ambition. More money.

Marketing Magazine named TAXI Canadian “Agency of the Year” in 2001 and 2005, and it won Strategy Magazine’s “Agency of the Year” award in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Then it took a short hiatus and won again in 2008. TAXI New York won the O’Toole Award for Creative Excellence from the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 2007 and 2008. It launched the BMW Mini brand in Canada, and its unconventional, award-winning work includes campaigns for WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Telus Corp., for which it designed the advertising to promote the Koodo discount brand. Needless to say, TAXI has been an aphrodisiac for its client, Viagra. Meanwhile, the brand, always huge thinkers, was feeling boxed in by the limitations of their resources, and seriously considering a source of seed money for expansion.

Enter Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell is the CEO of WPP group, (knighted at the New Year Honours 2000 Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom). In the event you’ve been capsized at an APPLE Store, unable to move and (of all ironies) Google either Sorrell or WPP or Y&R and the acquisition of TAXI - here are the Coles Notes of the transaction directly from the direct transcript from the WPP site:

“WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company, Young & Rubicam Brands (“Y&R Brands”), the global marketing communications group, has acquired all the assets of TAXI Canada, Inc.

This investment continues WPP’s strategy of adding the strongest creative capabilities in all services sectors and reinforcing its client capabilities around its Team concept. The acquisition of TAXI will also reinforce WPP’s services for its existing clients.”

The TAXI leadership team will continue to drive the organization, with Lavoie retaining his role as chairman and Rob Guenette serving as TAXI’s CEO. Lavoie will report to Peter Stringham, who is chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and TAXI will become one of the Young & Rubicam Brands agencies.

TAXI is a fantastic addition to our group. It will fit perfectly with the thirty companies at Young & Rubicam Brands that span the marketing communications spectrum offering another exciting dimension to create innovative integrated solutions,” says Stringham. “We also believe that their strong client roster will benefit from the wide range of resources and talents at Young & Rubicam Brands.”

The Brief spoke to Rob Guenette.

The Brief: Do you feel you have to answer to Big Brother now that they bought you? I’m thinking of this quote from the WPP website which sounds fairly brand unifying and authoritative.

We encourage and enable our companies of different disciplines to work together, for the benefit of clients and the satisfaction of our people. In the management of talent, the parent company plays an across-the-Group role.

Guenette: The only way we’d make the deal is as a stand- alone brand. The degree to which we collaborate is really up to us. And it would behoove us to collaborate with companies that extend our skill set.

The Brief: So there’s nothing Faustian in this tale?

Guenette: Being independent with a very small bank can be very scary times. Paul stole my line, but it’s my line! “We’re the same TAXI, with a bigger engine. “I don’t perceive any negative in this alliance with WPP. I don’t feel big brother at all. All I’ve felt is a helping hand. Same TAXI. Still out to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: This is what Marketing Magazine reported from Sorrell.

Marketing: (to Sorrell) Taxi now resides inside WPP’s Y&R Brands. How are they settling in?

The Brief: Am I the only one unsettled by this question of “settling in”? Sorrell’s answer is TAXI’s behavior so far is an A+.

Sorrell: We’ve already had some examples in the first three or four days of Taxi starting to develop relationships with other parts of the group who either have opportunities or challenges within Canada or beyond. …You shouldn’t think of Y&R Brands as being their sole [interaction]. You should view Y&R Brands as its portal into WPP.

The Brief: Remember that great agency, TAXI!

Guenette: In fact, to underscore (how this [deal] works in our favour) the day the deal happened, it was a Friday, and I asked Sir Martin for help with some global pitches in New York. By the time I got back to the agency, there was a message from him. He’d made the connections for us. Now that we’re within WPP, our clients have access to companies with all the necessary marketing and communications skills. Companies with strong and distinctive cultures of their own – famous names, many of them. We’re pitching right now with the help of Wunderman because of their skills in Direct Marketing.

The Brief: What makes this deal with WPP better than with one of the other (goliaths) in the advertising industry? Like Omnicom, Publicis or Interpublic.

Guenette: WPP founder, Martin Sorrel, is changing it to a business with very high creative standards. He’s the father of the “5-year earn-out”.

The Brief: The above refers to a structure wherein senior staff at WPP is asked to invest their money in the company and hold their shares for five years before payouts are possible through its share scheme. It’s a structure that insures very high creative standards. Sorrell says, “Rivals have it differently… I think this is a function of the UK. Omnicom can issue options at very low prices with very little criticism. Publicis, quoted in France, can put in incentive schemes without revealing performance criteria.”

Guenette: Our brand won’t change. It’ll attract very good talent because it’s a magnet for talent. Across pharmaceutical and telecommunications – TAXI tends to bring mold breaking work to that category.

Both Lavoie and I share an international appetite for our brand. We’d been talking about it for years. Globalization is for getting bigger opportunities. WPP can be a big help in globalization. TAXI wants to enter San Paulo, Brazil – WPP can offer seed money for that. We see TAXI in Asia… Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

We didn’t want to be 72 years old to open offices. You don’t need 50 offices to be global. Maybe you need eight. Getting a foothold into the BRIC nations, where telecommunications and many of our skill sets are huge…

The Brief: The BRIC nations include Brazil, Russia, India and China. Michael Penn, Global Equity Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the BRIC’s are “where the population growth is, where the raw materials are, and where the economic growth is.”

Guenette: We wanted to be more than just a great Canadian story – like the Four Seasons was a great Canadian story, but now they’re all over the world. Taxi didn’t want to be the best agency in Canada; we wanted to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: Thank you Rob Guenette. We wish you continued success and more.

In closing, here’s more from Sir Martin Sorrell for those independent Canadian Advertisers who dream of expanding globally.

Sorrell: In the last few years, Canada has been similar to Australia in that it’s an economy in two parts. There’s the normal economy, or what some may call the real economy, and then there’s the resource-driven economy. Canada’s benefited significantly from being extremely well-run from a government point of view and financial point of view, not subject to some of the horrors we’ve had to deal with in other parts of the West. I know [CEO] John Rose at Rolls Royce thinks Canada is a shining example of the way things should be managed. We’ve always had a high degree of respect for [Canada].

Sources:

On Sir Martin Sorrel

Rob Guenette

Quote from Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell’s 5-year buy-out strategy

Visit TAXI

Visit WPP

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Please Sir, I want some more. On TAXI selling itself.

By TO411Daily Columnist Linda Chandler

TAXI, the agency which opened its doors in Montreal in 1992, based on the now quaint notion that …all you need is four people to start a successful agency – a great creative team, a good suit and a client, all of whom can fit in a taxi – discovered that its distinct brand of creativity soon needed a fleet. So it moved its headquarters from Montreal to new headquarters in Toronto and then opened TAXI 2 (1992, 2006), it opened in New York (2004), Calgary (2005), Vancouver (2007), and in Amsterdam (2009). It now employs around 400 people. The TAXI needs a limo.

More success. More ambition. More money.

Marketing Magazine named TAXI Canadian “Agency of the Year” in 2001 and 2005, and it won Strategy Magazine’s “Agency of the Year” award in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Then it took a short hiatus and won again in 2008. TAXI New York won the O’Toole Award for Creative Excellence from the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 2007 and 2008. It launched the BMW Mini brand in Canada, and its unconventional, award-winning work includes campaigns for WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Telus Corp., for which it designed the advertising to promote the Koodo discount brand. Needless to say, TAXI has been an aphrodisiac for its client, Viagra. Meanwhile, the brand, always huge thinkers, was feeling boxed in by the limitations of their resources, and seriously considering a source of seed money for expansion.

Enter Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell is the CEO of WPP group, (knighted at the New Year Honours 2000 Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom). In the event you’ve been capsized at an APPLE Store, unable to move and (of all ironies) Google either Sorrell or WPP or Y&R and the acquisition of TAXI - here are the Coles Notes of the transaction directly from the direct transcript from the WPP site:

“WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company, Young & Rubicam Brands (“Y&R Brands”), the global marketing communications group, has acquired all the assets of TAXI Canada, Inc.

This investment continues WPP’s strategy of adding the strongest creative capabilities in all services sectors and reinforcing its client capabilities around its Team concept. The acquisition of TAXI will also reinforce WPP’s services for its existing clients.”

The TAXI leadership team will continue to drive the organization, with Lavoie retaining his role as chairman and Rob Guenette serving as TAXI’s CEO. Lavoie will report to Peter Stringham, who is chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and TAXI will become one of the Young & Rubicam Brands agencies.

TAXI is a fantastic addition to our group. It will fit perfectly with the thirty companies at Young & Rubicam Brands that span the marketing communications spectrum offering another exciting dimension to create innovative integrated solutions,” says Stringham. “We also believe that their strong client roster will benefit from the wide range of resources and talents at Young & Rubicam Brands.”

The Brief spoke to Rob Guenette.

The Brief: Do you feel you have to answer to Big Brother now that they bought you? I’m thinking of this quote from the WPP website which sounds fairly brand unifying and authoritative.

We encourage and enable our companies of different disciplines to work together, for the benefit of clients and the satisfaction of our people. In the management of talent, the parent company plays an across-the-Group role.

Guenette: The only way we’d make the deal is as a stand- alone brand. The degree to which we collaborate is really up to us. And it would behoove us to collaborate with companies that extend our skill set.

The Brief: So there’s nothing Faustian in this tale?

Guenette: Being independent with a very small bank can be very scary times. Paul stole my line, but it’s my line! “We’re the same TAXI, with a bigger engine. “I don’t perceive any negative in this alliance with WPP. I don’t feel big brother at all. All I’ve felt is a helping hand. Same TAXI. Still out to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: This is what Marketing Magazine reported from Sorrell.

Marketing: (to Sorrell) Taxi now resides inside WPP’s Y&R Brands. How are they settling in?

The Brief: Am I the only one unsettled by this question of “settling in”? Sorrell’s answer is TAXI’s behavior so far is an A+.

Sorrell: We’ve already had some examples in the first three or four days of Taxi starting to develop relationships with other parts of the group who either have opportunities or challenges within Canada or beyond. …You shouldn’t think of Y&R Brands as being their sole [interaction]. You should view Y&R Brands as its portal into WPP.

The Brief: Remember that great agency, TAXI!

Guenette: In fact, to underscore (how this [deal] works in our favour) the day the deal happened, it was a Friday, and I asked Sir Martin for help with some global pitches in New York. By the time I got back to the agency, there was a message from him. He’d made the connections for us. Now that we’re within WPP, our clients have access to companies with all the necessary marketing and communications skills. Companies with strong and distinctive cultures of their own – famous names, many of them. We’re pitching right now with the help of Wunderman because of their skills in Direct Marketing.

The Brief: What makes this deal with WPP better than with one of the other (goliaths) in the advertising industry? Like Omnicom, Publicis or Interpublic.

Guenette: WPP founder, Martin Sorrel, is changing it to a business with very high creative standards. He’s the father of the “5-year earn-out”.

The Brief: The above refers to a structure wherein senior staff at WPP is asked to invest their money in the company and hold their shares for five years before payouts are possible through its share scheme. It’s a structure that insures very high creative standards. Sorrell says, “Rivals have it differently… I think this is a function of the UK. Omnicom can issue options at very low prices with very little criticism. Publicis, quoted in France, can put in incentive schemes without revealing performance criteria.”

Guenette: Our brand won’t change. It’ll attract very good talent because it’s a magnet for talent. Across pharmaceutical and telecommunications – TAXI tends to bring mold breaking work to that category.

Both Lavoie and I share an international appetite for our brand. We’d been talking about it for years. Globalization is for getting bigger opportunities. WPP can be a big help in globalization. TAXI wants to enter San Paulo, Brazil – WPP can offer seed money for that. We see TAXI in Asia… Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

We didn’t want to be 72 years old to open offices. You don’t need 50 offices to be global. Maybe you need eight. Getting a foothold into the BRIC nations, where telecommunications and many of our skill sets are huge…

The Brief: The BRIC nations include Brazil, Russia, India and China. Michael Penn, Global Equity Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the BRIC’s are “where the population growth is, where the raw materials are, and where the economic growth is.”

Guenette: We wanted to be more than just a great Canadian story – like the Four Seasons was a great Canadian story, but now they’re all over the world. Taxi didn’t want to be the best agency in Canada; we wanted to be the best agency in the world.

The Brief: Thank you Rob Guenette. We wish you continued success and more.

In closing, here’s more from Sir Martin Sorrell for those independent Canadian Advertisers who dream of expanding globally.

Sorrell: In the last few years, Canada has been similar to Australia in that it’s an economy in two parts. There’s the normal economy, or what some may call the real economy, and then there’s the resource-driven economy. Canada’s benefited significantly from being extremely well-run from a government point of view and financial point of view, not subject to some of the horrors we’ve had to deal with in other parts of the West. I know [CEO] John Rose at Rolls Royce thinks Canada is a shining example of the way things should be managed. We’ve always had a high degree of respect for [Canada].

Sources:

On Sir Martin Sorrel

Rob Guenette

Quote from Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell’s 5-year buy-out strategy

Visit TAXI

Visit WPP

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisements