Michele Pauchuk upped to CEO of MEC Canada

The promotion reflects a shift in the dynamic between the Canadian and U.S. outposts, with Pauchuk now reporting directly to North American CEO Marla Kaplowitz.

Michele Pauchuk has been upped to CEO of MEC Canada from her role as president.

Pauchuk has been president of the WPP agency since since 2011 and officially assumed the CEO role at the end of February, although the company has kept it quiet until now.

She said the promotion came partially as a recognition of MEC Canada’s noteworthy account wins and retentions (including retaining Molson Coors for the second time in three years, adding L’Oréal, GoDaddy, Visit Orlando and michelePauchukTourism Toronto). It was also, she said, a testament to growth in the Toronto office (which nearly doubled in the six years since Pauchuk began) and working more directly with its North American parent company rather than the U.S. outpost.

“There’s been some change in the dynamics of how we work with the U.S.,” said Pauchuk, who noted that the Canadian arm of the agency is now more autonomous from the U.S. She will no longer report to the U.S. office and will instead report directly to MEC’s North American CEO, Marla Kaplowitz

She noted that of MEC Canada’s most prominent account wins in the past several years have either been completely separate from the U.S. (Molson, for example, was a Canada-only win, GoDaddy was won on regional basis) or have been in the Canadian agency’s portfolio for longer (L’Oréal was won three years ago in Canada but was won last year in the U.S.).

On top of the various account wins and increased distinction from the U.S. office, MEC is soon to open an office in Montreal.

With her more senior position, Pauchuk said she hopes to help the agency position itself in a way that proves the value of media agencies in the advertising industry.

“I know that marketers are under the same pressure we are,” she said. “But I think a lot of the industry troubles would go away if we sat down and agreed to what the value of a media agency is. Increasingly I see we’re looking at price before quality and value, and it’s really disturbing the length that procurement people will go to bring your fee down without a recognition on impact. And I believe marketers are caught in the middle.”