J. Walter Thompson Canada Promotes Ryan Spelliscy and Adds Creative Talent

The agency is please to announce that Ryan Spelliscy has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer, Toronto, along with several new additions to the creative team and internal promotions.


J. Walter Thompson Canada announced today that Ryan Spelliscy, SVP, Executive Creative Director, has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer for J. Walter Thompson, Toronto. Spelliscy takes on the expanded role and has not only added top creative talent to the department but also promoted from within.

In just under three years, Spelliscy’s become an integral member of the team, transforming the agency into one of the top performing in the country, as well as in the J. Walter Thompson network.

“Ryan is a brilliant creative and a new breed of creative leader,” says Susan KimKirkland, President and CEO, J. Walter Thompson Canada. “As one of the youngest Chief Creative Officers in the world to lead a top agency, we know that he will continue to bring a fresh perspective to every aspect of our clients’ business.”

“Simply, the agency is where it is today because of Ryan leading the work on our most successful campaigns,” says Brent Choi, CCO New York & Canada, J. Walter Thompson. “Including Sickkids Better Tomorrows, which was named Strategy’s Campaign of the Year in 2015, Air Canada’s #CanadaCarols holiday promotion and Tim Hortons’ Dark Experiment. Without question, he’s the best I’ve ever worked with.”

“Some people say it’s all about the work but, for me, it’s all about the people,” says Ryan Spelliscy, Chief Creative Officer, Toronto, J. Walter Thompson Canada. “Get the right people together and amazing things happen. That’s what we’ve been focused on over the last few years: assembling a group of smart people who are doers. There’s too much talk in this business. I love working with nice, smart people who like to roll up their sleeves and solve problems.”

To support the agency’s positive trajectory, the creative team welcomes David Federico and Josh Budd as SVP Creative Directors, Laurent Abesdris as Associate Creative Director, Lisa McCoy as Design Director, and it’s pleased to announce the promotion of Rasna Jaswal to Design Director and Denise Cole to Associate Creative Director.

Federico and Budd will lead the Air Canada business, among others, at J. Walter Thompson Canada. They join the agency from Leo Burnett where they led the TD Bank business. The duo has received recognition for their work both nationally and internationally with creative awards, effectiveness awards and have been key players on multiple new business pitches. Most recently, their work for the bank won Campaign of the Year at the Canadian Marketing Awards, with its video being viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube.

They bring new perspectives and a unique set of experiences to the agency between the two of them, having worked on a wide range of blue-chip clients including, Mercedes-Benz, Ikea, McDonalds and P&G, throughout their careers.

Laurent Abesdris joins the team as Associate Creative Director, having previously worked at some of Canada’s most renowned agencies including Taxi, TBWA/Juniper Park and Sid Lee where he created award-wining work for brands like McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, GM and Mondelez.

In his role as Associate Creative Director, he will take a leadership role on Hotels.com among others.

The agency also welcomes Lisa McCoy to the design team. As a Design Director, she will work on all client business and collaborate with the creative and account management teams.

McCoy possesses a blend of incredible talent, energy and enthusiasm. She joins the agency with 15-years experience working at some of the country’s top design and advertising agencies including Blammo Worldwide, Watt International and most recently her own partnership at Transcend3.

Rasna Jaswal has been promoted to Design Director and will continue to work on all agency client’s business.

Over the past two years as a Senior Designer, Jaswal has worked on campaign branding for Motrin, Toronto PFlag and re-branding of Air Canada Rouge. She’s proved to be a key member of the team and has lead the design of Air Canada’s brand identity.

The agency is also pleased to announce the promotion of Denise Cole to Associate Creative Director. In her new role, she will work closely with Laurent Abesdris to lead the Hotels.com business and take on more leadership roles within the agency.

As an Art Director for nearly three years with the agency, Cole has worked on clients like Walmart, Tim Hortons and Nike. She also created award-winning work for brands like SickKids and the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

“This group of new hires and promotions is made up of some of the best creatives in North America. Seriously, that’s how good this group is. And I can’t wait to see where they help us take J. Walter Thompson next,” said Spelliscy.

The agency’s pioneering spirit, has created business-building campaigns for some of the country’s most beloved and iconic brands, such as Air Canada, Tim Hortons, Tylenol and Walmart Canada. Clients of J. Walter Thompson Canada include Hotels.com, Canada Bread, Nike, Mazda, Burger King, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, and the University of Toronto, among others.

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