Yellow Pages acquires Totem

Yellow Pages says custom content company complements its content creation activities

Chris Powell October 06, 2016

Yellow Pages has acquired Toronto-based custom content company Totem from TC Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fiona Story, director of public relations and corporate communications for Yellow Pages in Montreal, confirmed the sale on Thursday. “We’ve added Totem, as it complements the existing content creation activities of Yellow Pages,” said Story in an e-mail statement to Marketing.

Yellow Pages did not grant an interview, but a recent post on the Canadian Magazines blog, quoting an internal memo sent to TC Media employees, said the 18 Totem employees currently working out the company’s offices at 37 Front St. in Toronto would be transferred to the Yellow Pages offices.

TC Media acquired Totem (then known as Redwood Custom Communications) in 2008, saying it would complement its newly created Marketing Communications Sector. It was subsequently rebranded as Totem Communications Group in 2010.

Totem’s current client roster includes CAA, Geico, Sobeys, Acura and British Airways. Totem general manager James McNab did not respond to interview requests.

TC Media has retreated from print in recent years, having sold 15 consumer magazines including Canadian Living, Style at Home and The Hockey News to Quebecor Media’s TVA Group for $55.5 million in 2014. The TVA Publications unit closed six magazines late last year.

It is one of several publishers that have divested or reshaped their print assets, with the industry grappling with years of declining readership and advertising.

In what some regard as a signal moment for the industry, Rogers Media last week announced a retreat from print that included converting four titles to digital only and reducing frequency for several leading titles including Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent. The company also announced plans to sell its business-to-business titles, a group that includes Marketing and Canadian Grocer.