JWT Vets Launch Juliet in Toronto

By Erik Oster Comment

Former JWT Toronto chief creative officer Ryan Spelliscy (pictured right) is launching an independent agency in Toronto called Juliet, along with co-founder, head of art Denise Cole (pictured left) and co-founder, chief strategy officer Sarah Stringer (pictured center).

“Juliet doesn’t need to be your full service anything,” Spelliscy, who will serve as Juliet’s chief creative officer, said in a statement. “We’re a tap made up of creative strategists, writers, designers, producers, media planners and other rebellious minds, that attaches to your existing infrastructure. Our one true love is creative-thinking.”

“We don’t believe that any one place can do everything well,” he added. “For example, analytics isn’t our speciality. But we have huge respect for it. So we partner with the best player in that field rather than try to be them.”

Spelliscy spent the past four years at JWT Toronto, serving as senior vice president, executive creative director and then chief creative officer. Before joining JWT he spent a year with BBDO Toronto as an associate creative director, followed by nearly two years as co-creative director for Sid Lee Toronto.

Stringer explained that the agency’s name was inspired by a certain Shakespeare character.

“Juliet was a badass who had the conviction to chase what could be over what’s always been,” she said in a statement. “We can relate because we believe a lot of what’s always been in the advertising industry should be left behind. If we want to connect with human beings, we need to tell more interesting stories, in more interesting places, and add real value to their lives. Helping brands reach their true potential requires solving challenges beyond the walls of traditional marketing departments.”

Stringer most recently served as vice president, human insights and brand strategy at Tornto consultancy Jackman Reinvents, following around a year and a half as vice president, strategic planning director at JWT Toronto. Prior to that she spent a year as director of strategy for KBS+ Toronto and has previously worked in account supervisor and account director roles with Ogilvy & Mather New York and BBH New York, working with clients including Kraft, AT&T, Unilver and Levi’s.

Cole arrives following nearly four and a half years with JWT Toronto, as art director and associate creative director. Prior to joining JWT she served as an art director with TBWA\Toronto for over four and a half years, working with brands including Visa, Energizer, Nissan, Infiniti, Whiskas and Yellow Tail.

Juliet also launches with Susan Holden as chief financial officer. Holden spent nearly five and a half years as chief financial officer for Mother New York, where she also ran a venture investments profile. She went on to serve as a member of the Hillary for America Finance Committee and then served as chief financial officer for experiential agency Midnight Commercial and Lone Mountain Wagyu. She also happens to be a two-time Emmy nominee.

“I think the fact that our CFO has been nominated for two Emmys tells you just how committed we are about having creative thinking permeate all aspects of this company,” Cole said in a statement. “No one really knows what questions tomorrow will bring, but the answers will always be found in creativity. We believe that with all of our heart. Even if it kills us.”