Canada Post Taps New Shops for $75M Advertising

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Canada Post Corp. hired Wunderman Canada, Toronto, as its direct marketing agency in an overhaul of its advertising vendors as part of a new $75 million marketing push over three years.

The Ottawa-based postal service also named Publicis for general advertising and its Publicis Dialog sibling's Capital C division for sales promotions. Blitz, Montreal, will handle direct marketing in Quebec, an important French-speaking market for government.

Agencies were asked to respond to a request for proposal posted online. Of those who responded, 15 qualified in the general advertising category and 20 each in direct marketing and sales promotions.

BCP, Montreal, was the incumbent, previously handling general advertising, DM and sales promotion.

Of a total three-year budget, Canada Post will allocate $50 million for general advertising, $15 million for direct and the rest for sales promotion.

"This is an industry in transition," said Trish Wheaton, president of Wunderman Canada. "They've gone from being a sunset industry to an industry with a bright future."

Wunderman is to promote the Canadian postal service both to businesses and consumers, including stamp collectors. It will offer expertise in database, creative, analytics, interactive and media. The Wunderman campaign begins Jan. 1.

"They want us to help them extend the Canada Post brand into direct channels and drive the business of their affiliated companies," Wheaton said.

Canada Post joins a roster of Wunderman Canada clients such as IBM, Kraft, Citibank and Ford brands, including Land Rover and Jaguar Cars.

Canada Post delivers about 37 million pieces of mail daily processed via 22 plants to more than 13 million addresses. It serves 31 million Canadian residents and more than 1 million businesses and institutions. It is the country's seventh-largest employer.

The postal service's affiliates include Borderfree Ltd., a technology provider for cross-border shopping, courier company Purolator and firms in logistics and online billing payments.

Affiliations are part of Canada Post's strategy to stay nimble in the fight with private-sector competitors like FedEx, DHL and United Parcel Service. It also faces erosion in market share from the Internet.

"Business transformation is one of the challenges," Wheaton said. "How do we market Canada Post to the market today, penetrating the BTB environment even more, and how do we branch into those affiliated organizations and make them market leaders?"

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