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WPP goes back to Canada for indie agency John St

WPP is looking to replicate its success with Canadian buy Taxi by buying another respected Canadian ad agency, Toronto-based John St.

John St was founded in 2001 and now employs about 100 people. It has revenues of $14m from clients including AstraZeneca, ING, Maple Leaf Foods and Tata. Last year it produced its celebrated ‘Buyral’ spoof.

John St president Arthur Fleischmann says: “We see enormous value in being part of WPP. We’ll now be able to augment our current services in areas that clients are asking for such as media, direct and public relations.”

WPP’s Y&R bought Taxi in 2010 and gained in an immediate boost as Taxi won a slice of Revlon and also forced its way onto the Kraft Foods roster.

The price for John St is undisclosed but at $14m plus clients would be a far cheaper way of adding an East Coast agency to the WPP stable than a bid for a US indie or a start-up.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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