TORONTO — MSLGroup has acquired 100% of North Strategic, the fast-growing firm that was named Canadian Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report for the past two years.

With offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, North Strategic essentially triples MSLGroup's presence in the country. Founded in 2011 by Mia Pearson and Justin Creally, North Strategic had grown to more than $7.2m in fee income as per our Global 250, with more than 65 staff working across North and sister firm Notch Video.

North Strategic and Notch video will retain their names and work separately alongside the existing MSLGroup and Publicis Communications operations. Pearson becomes CEO of MSLGroup Canada companies in the market, reporting to global CEO Guillaume Herbette. Gayla Brock-Woodland will continue to lead MSL Canada as president, and will now report to Pearson. 

Pearson and Creally are both veterans of High Road Communications, which Pearson co-founded in 1996, before selling to to FleishmanHillard in 2001. The duo departed Omnicom to launch North Strategic in 2011.

North and Notch bring earned media, influencer relations and social media content for such brands as Samsung, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Cadillac Fairview, Twitter and Airbnb. 

"The time is right to maximize our growth in Canada, particularly in the advanced areas of social and digital communications and content creation," said Herbette. "The acquisition also supports Publicis Communications’ ability to compete as a ‘Power of One’ in the Canadian marketplace and around the world, allowing us to offer our clients a strong collaborative approach matched with best-in-class competencies."

"The unique North and Notch combination has helped us achieve unparalleled growth in the Canadian market," added Pearson. "Joining forces with the Publicis network in Canada is an exciting next step in the evolution of North and Notch."