Senior Mondialis exec resigns in Canada

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MONTREAL--Mondialis Communication-Marketing, part of the True North Communications group, shrank overnight to a staff of seven when VP-General Manager Robert Valois resigned after firing 14 employees.

The cuts are the result of a series of international client and agency moves culminated by the recent merger of British American Tobacco and Rothmans International.

The remaining staff will service accounts for FCB Canada and Bozell Worldwide Canada. Both True North agencies have shared the Mondialis office for the past year.

Now heading the office is Nils Hallik, former director of client services, who has been named VP-French operations.

Mondialis has handled the Rothmans Benson & Hedges account in Quebec and had gained international business from Rothmans, especially in France. But British Imperial Tobacco's takeover of Rothmans International and acquisition of the 58% of Imperial Tobacco it didn't already own, proved to be the final straw for the agency.

Rothmans Benson & Hedges in Canada will be sold off as part of the tobacco deal. The company's advertising and sponsorship opportunities, like that of all tobacco companies in Canada, have all but been eliminated by federal government rulings and all the international business is gone.

Other losses that hit Mondialis in the last two years include Cosmair, and Nestle Dim, which ended up with Publicis-BCP and Optimedia when theysplit from True North operations, and L'Oreal, now with Marketel.

The agency also handled Mazda, lost when True North bought Bozell, which handles Chrysler, and General Mills, lost when Harrod & Mirlin, with Quaker Oats, joined True North.

Mondialis' gross revenue in 1998 reached $1.2 million. The agency's billings throughout the 1990s averaged $11 million.

Mondialis' clients now include Grand & Toy office supplies, PaylessShoe Source; S.C. Johnson (Fantastik and Edge), Nabisco, Quaker Oats and Tetley tea.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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