Known as a top creative agency, Downtown Partners, Toronto, was opened in 2001 to handle Labatt's business, but after a six-year partnership the brewer in November consolidated its business at Grip Limited and Publicis, Toronto. The loss of its Labatt business -- which included Budweiser, Bud Light and Keith's beer brands -- made up roughly 40% of revenue, Downtown said, and as a result, management last week made the decision to close the shop effective Feb. 15.
'We tried everything'
"We tried everything we could to restructure the agency and fortify its existing business," Dan Pawych, managing director and creative director, said in a statement. "The remaining accounts didn't provide a strong enough revenue base to continue long-term operations. Minus the account and creative talent, it became impossible to secure the kind of future commitments from clients or new business opportunities that would allow us to continue to be a force."
Other Downtown Partners clients include Pepsi-QTG Canada (Quaker, Gatorade), Sony of Canada, and the Red Cross. Some of those accounts may be shifted to Omnicom sibling agencies.
The Toronto shop's closing will not affect Downtown Partners' Chicago office, whose clients include Walgreen's and Northern Trust Bank.
Over the course of its seven-year run, the agency won many accolades, particularly for its Anheuser-Busch TV work, for which it took home consecutive Gold and Silver Lion awards at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.