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Behind No Fixed Address's North American Expansion


The Canadian founded, multi-faceted advertising business hires The Many’s Liz Mowinski - LBB’s Addison Capper speaks with her and NFA co-founder Dave Lafond

Behind No Fixed Address's North American Expansion

It was announced last week that No Fixed Address (NFA), the Canadian founded "ecosystem of advertising services" that birthed creative agencies Mischief, Courage and NFA, had appointed Liz Mowinski as its first ever North American president. NFA has been quietly growing its client base in the US and has experienced "explosive growth" of the company's diverse range of offerings and clients. Both were key factors in appointing someone to this newly created role.

Liz was most recently at agency The Many as head of brand and has helped build and grow shops including Mekanism, OKRP and 360i across a +20 year career. She will oversee NFA's award-winning creative shop, as well as its entire suite of fast-growing offerings that include media planning and buying, health, PR, digital, analytics, design, experience, and production. 

She joins as NFA’s offerings embrace its next stage of growth and builds upon its 34-strong client roster. The creative agency continues to grow strong AOR partnerships with the likes of founding client Questrade, while producing standout work for renowned brands including Little Caesars, Betway, and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (which took home multiple Cannes Lions for its brave “Happy Birthday Twitter” campaign). Meanwhile, NFA is quietly and quickly expanding into the U.S. and beyond with partners including Diageo’s popular seltzer brand Loyal9 and Greenfield Natural Meat Co. 

Elsewhere, NFA Media continues its incredible momentum across the border, too, servicing brands such as Duolingo, Article furniture, and Alpha Foods. NFA’s integrated and shared services such as media, production, analytics, experience, design and digital are also what help power client solutions for sister agencies Courage and Mischief. 

Liz will partner closely with NFA CEOs and co-founders Dave Lafond and Serge Rancourt.

To find out more about this next step of evolution, LBB's Addison Capper chatted with both Liz and Dave.

LBB> Dave, why is now the right time to appoint a president for all of North America?

Dave> This newly created role was born from the demand of our clients and growing remit into the US and beyond. We have quietly been expanding into the US with staff all over North America while taking on more US work with clients like Diageo, Loyal9 and Greenfield Natural Meat Co. Meanwhile, NFA Media has been servicing clients from Article Furniture to Duolingo and Alpha Foods.

LBB> Why is Liz the right person for this role?

Dave> Liz’s calibre, experience and global lens is exactly what we need as we enter our next stage of growth with a huge breadth and depth of offerings and capabilities. We needed someone who knows how to look at the bigger picture. All the chess pieces. Holistically. And can build with integration at heart and a vision that is global. 

LBB> Liz, why is this opportunity too good to pass up?

Liz> Since birth, NFA has proven a leader in what it means to be a truly integrated agency built for tomorrow, today. At the core there is a fearless creative agency with a full suite of fast growing offerings from media planning and buying to health, PR, digital, analytics, design, and more, allowing them to truly solve clients’ business problems—not sell them. This role allows me to embrace all my super powers I have developed over the course of my career and chart a new path. How could anyone pass up something that exciting? 

LBB> The word 'integrated' was used a lot in the press release about this story - it seems like a lot of your role is overseeing the many moving parts of NFA. What are your thoughts on that?

Liz> NFA has all the pieces and all the brilliant people that believe in the same common goal. Integrated work has truly never been more important but not many are doing it quite as well. Overseeing all the moving parts and evolving for the future off an incredibly strong foundation is something I am thrilled to take on, continuing to stay steps ahead as we constantly are evolving to be the agency of the future. 

LBB> More generally, what are the main aims and goals for this role?

Liz> Foster a culture that attracts, grows and retains the best talent in the industry.

We’re a people business and people will always be first. Empowering individuals to work to their greatest potential and ensuring they’re set up for success is incredibly important to me. I believe in lifting everyone up (vs pushing down) and creating win/win scenarios so our people, clients and industry can thrive.

Set a vision for driving competitive advantage and long-term growth.

The world will continue to evolve and it’s important we continue to stay a step ahead, always striving to do better, leading our clients and agency into the future.   

Dave> Simple: continue to keep us three steps ahead at all times as client needs evolve and change. 

LBB> Dave, why is it important to have someone oversee the whole region of North America?

Dave> So many of our clients are borderless, so it only made sense to have created this role to keep up with changing client needs. Clients benefit from having frictionless access to top talent across a range of capabilities, regardless of geography.

LBB> Can you tell me a bit more about NFA's growth in the US?

Dave> We’ve never answered to geographies—we answer to client problems. We’ve always seen ourselves as location agnostic, in that sense. The growth into the US has been a response to client needs. We have existing clients who’ve asked for our help across the border, and we’ve won net new business housed in America. We have staff all over North America, with hubs in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and San Francisco. 

For the last 18 months, NFA has been providing an array of services in the US across creative, media, design, digital, production and analytics for clients that include Diageo, Loyal9, Greenfield Meat Co., Alpha Foods, Article Furniture and Duolingo. Some clients sit solely within NFA and some are shared with sister agency Mischief.

LBB> Will Liz also work with Mischief and Courage? How does that work?

Dave> Liz’s focus is NFA. NFA is NFA the full-service agency and its armoury of integrated capabilities that include creative, media, design, digital, health and more. Mischief and Courage have the ability to tap into this integrated grid of shared services. These two monster creative shops operate independently and have their own presidents. Liz will be working closely with both of them.

LBB> Liz, your role is a newly created one - how does that influence your approach to it, if at all?

Liz> Approaching the role with curiosity, optimism and purpose. A yes-and mindset, believing that both vision and action are necessary for success.

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LBB Editorial, Tue, 20 Dec 2022 16:55:19 GMT