Toronto-based Veritas Communications has made two key hires to its Growth & Innovation Lab. Described as the agency’s “cerebral cortex,” the lab is part of its new hybrid business model meant to combine the best of what PR and advertising agencies offer.
Jason Cowell has been hired as director of digital creative strategy. Cowell has 20 years’ experience as a creative director in New York, Amsterdam, L.A. and Toronto. Most recently, he was creative director at BStreet in Toronto. Prior to that, he was creative director at 58Ninety.
Jonathan Sy has been named VP, social media and analytics. Prior to joining Veritas, Sy was senior director, digital at Edelman in Toronto. Before that, he was director of digital communications for Edelman China.
In the process of looking for an executive creative director, Veritas president Krista Webster met with Cowell (pictured above on left). “While Jason has 20-plus years as creative director, the most powerful aspect that he brought to the table was his understanding of the convergence of strategy, creative and digital,” said Webster. “So I ended up creating a role for Jason because I felt that convergence was so important to the lab.”
The agency is still looking to fill the ECD position and Cowell will be a “tremendous complement” to that person, said Webster.
“Jason helps me get closer to the creative level that I’d like the G&I to represent,” she added. “Veritas at its core is an influencer marketing agency that comes from a creative standpoint. Jason allows us to go deeper in terms of creating ideas that go beyond being influencer marketing and PR in isolation to creating sustainable campaigns that I know will benefit clients.”
With Sy (pictured above on right), Webster said, “It was love at first brain. I fell in love with Jonathan’s mind… I really wanted that digital/social thought leader who understood the importance and opportunity of what social and digital can mean in terms of analytics and insights.
“He makes us stop and be more accountable in terms of the benchmarks we use to measure social and digital and [ensures] the account teams are thinking holistically about how that plays into their bigger mix of tools.”