ICYMI: Astral names Carte Blanche jury

Plus, Abacus snaps up a JWT VP.
Carte Blanche judges

Astral introduces national jury for Carte Blanche

Bell Media’s OOH unit Astral will soon kick off its ninth annual Carte Blanche out-of-home creativity competition, which this year features a national jury. For the first time, prominent creative directors from across the advertising industry will determine the winners. Two jurors were selected from three key markets (Toronto, Quebec and Western Canada). They will shortlist the top 25 entries before determining a winner, runner-up and second runner-up for each market. There will no longer be a general vote from industry members.

The inaugural jury includes Anthony Chelvanathan (group creative director, Leo Burnett), Julie Markle (group creative director, Ogilvy), Leia Rogers (creative director and managing partner, Rethink), Neil Shapiro (group creative director, DDB), Anne-Claude Chénier (VP of creative advertising, Cossette) and Luc Du Sault (VP and creative director at LG2) (pictured above).

Abacus adds Rebecca Brown

JWT’s Rebecca Brown has moved to the Abacus Agency as its new CRO. Brown will help guide the agency/ad tech company’s overall approach to client success (clients include No Fixed Address, the Body Shop, Nickelodeon, Zag Bank and Grocery Gateway) and will expand the agency’s consulting services to include advanced training for brand managers, planners and creatives. Previously, Brown served as VP of social media and content for J. Walter Thompson.

Facebook ends news feed experiment in test countries

Facebook has put an official end to a six-country experiment that saw it separate its news feeds into two separate feeds. The test markets — which did not include Canada — had their feeds divided into one for posts from friends and family, and the other for posts from brands and publishers. After receiving negative feedback, Adam Mosseri, head of news feed at Facebook, wrote in a blog post that it was putting an end to the feature. Instead Facebook will continue on with its plans to de-prioritize brands and publishers within the central news feed. “Those changes mean less public content in the news feed like posts from businesses, brands and media.” Craig Silverman, editor at Buzzfeed Canada, told MiC the move would have likely hurt news outlets that rely on Facebook for traffic had the program rolled out here.

Sportsnet brings Joe Siddall to TV

Popular Sportsnet radio host Joe Siddall will move from radio to television this season as he joins Sportsnet’s Blue Jays Central broadcast as a studio analyst. Siddall will make his debut on the program March 26 and work alongside host Jamie Campbell for pre- and post-game coverage of the Jays. The former pro catcher began his baseball career with the Montreal Expos before catching with the Marlins and the Tigers. Following his playing career, he moved into broadcasting and has been a radio commentator for Sportsnet since 2014. Also featured on this season will be MLB alum Cliff Floyd.

Sportsnet will announce its Blue Jays radio broadcast team in the coming weeks.