WPP buys Canadian agency Taxi to add to Y&R Brands

WPP has bought lively Canadian creative agency Taxi to add to its Y&R Brands stable which also includes PR firms Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe and what’s left of Enfatico, the agency it set up to handle the Dell account.

No price has been announced although Taxi is a substantial operation with five agencies in Canada (including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver), one in New York and one in Amsterdam. Its clients include McCain, Mini, Carling, Heineken and local mobile operator Koodo. It employs around 400 people.

The agency was founded in 1992 by chairman Paul Lavoie (pictured) and vice chair Jane Hope. CEO is Rob Guenette. Lavoie and Guenette are staying on, reporting to Y&R global boss Peter Stringham, once global marketing director for HSBC.

Guenette says the deal will help “realise the potential of the Taxi brand around the world,” which it probably will. Canada seems a difficult place to originate world domination.

It’s interesting though that this is a 100 per cent deal rather than one of the currently fashionable 49 per cent holding company numbers.

Maybe WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, unlike rival Maurice Levy of Publicis who recently bought 49 per cent of Brazil’s Talent, feels he has enough of these cluttering up the books.

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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.