Francois Descarie goes it alone

The Montreal marketing veteran has set up Substance Strategies after five years at Ipsos Canada.

Marketing veteran Francois Descarie has left Ipsos Canada to start his own company, Substance Strategies, based in Montreal.

Descarie tells MiC that he will continue to work with Ipsos as a focus group moderator but will, with his new agency, break out to try new things.

‘Since I don’t owe anything to anybody, it’ll be my decisions, my client selection,’ he says. ‘I’m too old to do consensus.’

Descarie sold his previous company, Descarie & Complices, to Ipsos in 2005 and moved with the business. Before Descarie & Complices, he worked at Cossette for 10 years.

Because of a non-compete agreement, he cannot do any market research work for one year. Instead he’s going to focus on marketing consulting, media and sponsorship strategies, and new product development. He’s looking to expand beyond Quebec, where he’s known, and he’s looking to work in a new way.

Instead of sticking strictly to numbers and research, Descarie says he’ll be focusing, as the name of the company suggests, on the substance of the products and campaigns.

‘[Companies] know sometimes they’re in for a ride in that I might question their strategy and how they market their product,’ he says. ‘I’m not sure everybody will be at ease changing their behaviour. It could be very comfortable to do things the same way, but we’re in an era where the current recipes aren’t as secure as they look.’