These past few years have demonstrated why our association is so important, and why our industry needs to be engaged and stand together in solidarity.
Whether it’s by championing the jobs in our field, leveraging That’s Agency Life as its strategic positioning to attract a new generation of talent, or showing recognition to the services and areas of expertise in our market, the A2C has proven to be an essential vehicle for leading inspiring, well-designed initiatives for all its members.
Let’s not forget that the association is also able to expertly rally together the various agencies, businesses and players in our industry. It has always been committed to governing in a way that represents and nourishes this diversity, imparting undeniable power to our group.
As I near the end of my second term as the chair of the board, I’d like to acknowledge the exemplary way in which our industry handled a crisis unlike any we’ve encountered before. After facing major management challenges over the pandemic, we learned to work under new hybrid models. Our ability to adapt and our willingness to seize opportunities to improve both our knowledge and the employee and client experience never cease to amaze me.
I’m pleased to find that our association is doing well and continues to grow year after year. There’s a genuine desire among members to be at the heart of the action and contribute to this vitality. The large number of initiatives led by the organization is a perfect example of this.
Again this year, the A2C doubled down on its efforts to deal with the labor shortage. In particular, I’d like to mention the A2C Academy, a brand new training opportunity and a concrete way to assist young marketers with their integration in the industry by giving them the tools they need and preparing them for the agency world.
The association also did a remarkable job in actively promoting its members’ interests with its business partners. The Mission : talent ! post and the updated Agency Selection Guide—which will be released this fall—are prime examples, and they do much to cement the A2C’s stance on speculative work and the value of agency work.
Finally, I’d like to express my sincere thanks and congratulations to Dominique Villeneuve and her team for their resilience, commitment and ability to rally our members together, and to my colleagues on the board for their availability and engagement. Only by joining forces can we overcome the challenges we’re all facing and build a promising future for our entire industry.
The A2C is the voice of Quebec's creative communications agencies to advertisers, government authorities and other stakeholders. It offers solutions to issues affecting the vitality of the industry.
Government lobby to discuss our needs in a time of economic recovery and labor shortage:
45 clients of various sizes and sectors counseled to adopt best practices in this area.
Submitted recommendations to the Centre d’acquisitions gouvernementales (CAG) to improve its selection process and update the compensation of selected agencies.
Updating the Agency Selection Guide (to be launched in the fall of 2022) et and its related tools, including the Call for Proposals template.
After a forced break due to the pandemic, negotiations for the renewal of the Internet and New Media (INM) and TV/radio collective agreements have resumed in the presence of a mediator between the UDA and the APC. The latter is composed of the A2C, the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA).
The objective is to arrive at more flexible agreements that are better adapted to the current market, in order to encourage Quebec advertising production and the hiring of local artists for the benefit of the entire ecosystem. Many aspects must be considered, such as the integration of the next generation, the economic context of the different types of production and the Canadian and international competition facing the industry.
When negotiations between the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA, the union representing professional English-speaking artists), the ACA and the ICA broke down in the spring, the A2C had to hold numerous and complex discussions with all parties involved, in the interest of its members. At their request, the A2C finally reached a special agreement with ACTRA and the ACA whereby: 1) ACTRA dropped the grievances sent to Quebec agencies that signed the 2022-2023 agreement and 2) Quebec representatives would now be present at the negotiating table in Toronto next year to represent the province's interests. Objectives: 1) to modernize the National Commercial Agreement (NCA) and 2) to maintain industry peace in Quebec and access to ACTRA members for English advertising production.
Following a review process that began over two years ago, the Minister of Culture and Communications tabled Bill 35 in April. A2C was consulted along with the other major producers' associations and filed a second memoir jointly with the APP and the ACA.
The bill, which was finally passed, takes into account some of our recommendations, including requiring parties to consider different types of production when negotiating an agreement. However, it does not include any changes that would expedite negotiations or help move labor relations toward a more efficient and flexible approach on the ground (e.g., allowing for arbitration at the request of a single party).
Following the launch of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI) policy and the presentation of its first workplace barometer study’s results, the A2C's DEI Advisory Committee has put in place several concrete actions to promote a plurality of perspectives within the industry:
Following the integration of the Conseil des directeurs médias du Québec (CDMQ) to the A2C, a permanent committee has been created to pilot projects related to the media discipline. The committee chair is Luis Areas (CARTIER) and its members are Dahlia Trinh-Viêt (Glassroom), Alexandra Lafond (Jungle Media), Sébastien Royer (Mindshare), Julie Carbone (Starcom), Marilyne Alie (Touché!) and Marion Marchesi (Wavemaker).
Launched in May 2020, the Mouvement was created to support local media. The industry was challenged to double the proportion of digital budgets going to local media over the next three years, in order to infuse over $200 million annually into the Quebec media ecosystem.
Study on Investments in Local Medias: Among the various initiatives and actions that have been put in place to achieve this goal, the A2C conducted a vast data collection this year to track the evolution of investments in local and regional media among its member agencies. The results were unveiled during the Immedia event.
Formation of a committee to brainstorm solutions leading to better compensation for agency work in the current economic environment.
Publication of a blog post in January 2022, titled Mission: talent. Four important considerations were shared in it in order to help agencies offer the best possible services: fair compensation for their work, the end of speculative work in selection processes, benevolence in business practices and the importance of investing in local media. This post fueled lots of discussion, helped raise awareness on these issues among advertisers and generated nearly 5,000 impressions on our website and social channels.
Created specifically for agency professionals, the program focused on various themes throughout the year, offering nearly 30 courses.
The A2C Academy was created to address the challenges of integrating junior resources. It is a customized program designed to accelerate their professional development and their familiarization with the industry. Through a unique curriculum specifically tailored to the agency world, recruits are provided with tools and workshops based on current needs and industry trends. These workshops are given by some twenty professionals from different agencies, in order to have a variety of perspectives represented in each discipline. Two cohorts (35 graduates in total) have taken part to date. This program will be offered annually.
In addition to the many tools already available in Member Access.
Throughout the year, the A2C contributes to the visibility of its member agencies among the various industry stakeholders as well as with up-and-coming talent. More than ever, its initiatives demonstrate the expertise and uniqueness of the sector to an increasingly large and diverse public.
The A2C has committed to stimulate the interest of the next generation in the industry's many career opportunities and, ultimately, to expand the talent pool. The association took advantage of the Agency Open House (February 4, 2022) to launch its positioning campaign "That’s Agency Life". The campaign was based on the findings of a study conducted in the spring of 2021 among managers and employees of its member agencies, which highlighted the distinctive and particularly stimulating elements of a career in an agency. The campaign consisted of a microsite, six videos featuring professionals with different areas of expertise and Web banners in various local media. A special edition of Grenier magazine was also published for the occasion.
The seulementenagence.com and thatsagencylife.com pages have been consulted over 13,000 times since their launch. In addition, the promotional campaign generated 2,813,762 impressions among the 18 to 25 year-olds.
To support this major seduction operation, A2C has also increased its initiatives with the next generation of professionals by participating in Jeux de la communication, Happening Marketing and the HEC Montréal job fair; by organizing numerous classroom presentations and by giving Sherbrooke University Marketing & Communications Masters degree students their term project mandate. In addition to raising awareness about the industry, these actions have not only improved our points of contact with the next generation, but have also given us valuable insights into the barriers to entry.
Each year, the concours Relève allow undergraduate students in communications and marketing to put their knowledge into practice by working on mandates from real clients.
This series of virtual conferences, which was back for a second edition in the fall of 2021, was designed to demystify agency professions for young people and help them steer their educational path according to their interests. Featuring four profiles - Technos, Crea, Strat. and Media as well as Connections - the activity allowed young people to discover the reality of professionals in the field in a relaxed setting. The event brought together a dozen speakers from our member agencies and recorded 250 remote connections.
A2C contributes to the promotion of the services and expertise of all its member agencies by developing articles and dossiers on various initiatives with Grenier aux nouvelles, by responding to journalists' requests for various industry questions and offering subjects and experts recommendations.
Through a digital campaign conducted in the fall of 2021 presented by CBC & Radio-Canada Media Solutions, the A2C highlighted the exceptional careers of Jacques Dorion (Builder), Thérèse Paquet-Sévigny (Beacon) and Robert Ayotte (Ally), by inducting them in the 2021 Hall of Fame. They were honored through interviews and video testimonials, which showed how their achievements have shaped the industry as it is today. Watch the clips below.
The third edition of the Idéa Awards, powered by A2C in collaboration with the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ), allowed the industry and its artisans to celebrate the best in creative communications in a hybrid format for the very first time.