Toronto-based agency North Strategic has been acquired by MSLGROUP, the strategic communications and engagement arm of Publicis Groupe. The acquisition gives MSLGROUP a new market in western Canada, and North Strategic will be aligned with Publicis Communications in Canada. Publicis Communications is one of Publicis Groupe’s four "solution" hubs bringing together its global creative networks.
North Strategic is one of the fastest growing independent public relations firms in Canada, and the acquisition of the company includes Notch Video, North Strategic’s online video marketplace and content hub. North Strategic and Notch Video will retain their names and will work separately but alongside the existing MSLGROUP and Publicis Communications operations. With offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, North Strategic essentially triples MSLGROUP’s presence in the country. MSLGROUP has existing offices in Toronto and Montreal. Calgary will be the new market for MSLGROUP.
“The time is right to maximize our growth in Canada, particularly in the advanced areas of social and digital communications and content creation,” said Guillaume Herbette, Global MSLGROUP CEO. “Together with the existing MSLGROUP team in Canada that was the Strategy PR Agency of the Year in Canada in 2015, we will be a powerful force in this important marketplace. The acquisition also supports Publicis Communications’ ability to compete as a ‘Power of One’ in the Canadian marketplace and around the world, allowing us to offer our clients a strong collaborative approach matched with best-in-class competencies.”
North Strategic was founded in 2011 by Mia Pearson and Justin Creally and has been recognized with numerous awards as one of Canada’s most distinctive and creative agencies. Holmes Report named North Strategic Canadian PR Agency of the Year in 2015 and 2016 and the company was a finalist for Global Digital Agency of the Year in 2016.
With significant strength in consumer marketing, brand strategy as well as corporate communications, the agency brings earned media, influencer relations and social media content together for top brands such as Samsung, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Cadillac Fairview, Twitter and Airbnb.
Pearson will be CEO, Canada for the MSLGROUP companies in the market, reporting to Herbette, while Gayla Brock-Woodland will continue to lead MSL Canada as President and will report to Pearson.
“The unique North and Notch combination has helped us achieve unparalleled growth in the Canadian market. Joining forces with the Publicis network in Canada is an exciting next step in the evolution of North and Notch,” said Pearson.