Ikea Awards Canadian Creative to Zig

LOS ANGELES Ikea has selected Zig as its creative agency in Canada, the Swedish furniture maker said today.

Zig was tapped after Ikea held informal meetings with the independent and two other undisclosed shops, all in Toronto, according to Ikea representative Laurence Martocq. The shop assumes Canadian marketing responsibilities previously handled by MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami. CP+B continues to handle U.S. marketing duties. Aegis Group’s Carat Canada in Toronto retains media buying duties in Canada.

Billings for the Canadian account were undisclosed. Ikea spent $40 million on U.S. media in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Zig founder and partner Andy Macaulay previously worked with Ikea at now-defunct shop Roche Macaulay, said Martocq.

Both Zig and Carat will work with Ikea’s new marketing department in Burlington, Ontario. The decision to establish a Canadian marketing function follows the implementation of a two-year retail expansion strategy in which Ikea opened four new stores in Canada and relocated one. The retailer now has 11 stores in Canada. Previously, Ikea handled Canadian marketing from its U.S. headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Nandini Venkatesh, Ikea’s newly appointed external communications manager, will lead the Canadian marketing team. Beginning today, Venkatesh will oversee advertising, Internet, direct-to-consumer, public relations, catalog and research and planning efforts.