Vice Media founder Shane Smith may have established a new benchmark for “newfront” presentations at New York’s Pier 59 Studios earlier this month, when he joined the house band for a stomping rendition of the Oi! punk classic “If the Kids are United.”
People hoping for an encore performance at Vice Canada’s first-ever newfront presentation at Toronto’s Airship 37 Tuesday were left disappointed, as company executives instead delivered a more conventional overview of its plans for the coming year.
The only “off-script” moment came at the end of the presentation, when Kenny vs. Spenny star Kenny Hotz jumped up on stage to plug a project he’s working on for Viceland, the new specialty channel co-owned by Vice Media and Rogers Communications.
Among the announcements made by Vice executives Tuesday was the impending launch of Vice Quebec, which Vice Canada general manager Nina Sudra said would significantly expand the company’s French-language content, “filling the gap” in media catering to the province’s youth audience.
Vice Quebec will be headed by general manager Delphine Poux, who has spent the past 12 years in a variety of sales roles with Rogers Communications, most recently as client solutions director overseeing national multiplatform programs.
The company also announced new content verticals – covering health, gaming, travel, LGBTQ and money – that will complement its existing roster of 11 owned and operated services.
Vice also announced the Canadian launch of its in-house creative agency Virtue. The agency was established in the U.S. in 2006 and has gone on to work with brands including AT&T, Unilever and Coca-Cola in the branded content space.
Tuesday’s presentation came amid reports that Vice Media is laying off staffers in the U.S. and Europe as part of a restructuring effort in its Vice News division. A spokesperson for Vice Canada told Marketing on Wednesday its operations were “not impacted” by the restructuring.