Who is Jo-Ann McArthur?

Who is Jo-Ann McArthur?

I’ve always been fascinated in why people do the things they do and then how to influence and change that behaviour – I guess I’m a bit of a cultural voyeur. Most of my career has been spent on the client side building brands with consumers and retailers at companies like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Molson, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and Cadillac Fairview.

As President of Molson Sports and Entertainment I had one of the best jobs in the country – and amazing Leaf hockey tickets. Tell any man or teenaged boy what my job was and their eyes would light up. Beer, music and sports.

Sometimes great companies have a larger role to play in times of crisis. I led the Molson “Sarstock” concert up in Downsview Park that successfully relaunched Toronto on the world stage. Post 9-11 there was no playbook to follow and we only had 8 weeks to pull it off. One of my favourite quotes is “luck is when preparation meets opportunity”. Through our racing, broadcast and concert division we had the expertise to pull this off. Definitely a career highlight looking out from the stage while AC/DC and the Rolling Stones played to a small city of 500,000 sunburned, happy people. I spent 8 weeks in a trailer in the middle of nowhere eating timbits, drinking double doubles and swearing way too much, but it was great! (And I eventually lost the 10 pounds I gained.)

One of my strengths has been making the complex simple – diving into the detail and finding and focusing on the 2 or 3 things that will truly move your business ahead and make you remarkable. And to simplify and focus often means choosing until it hurts!

After 5 years with Molson I moved to the agency side of the business as President & COO for Canada’s premier branding and design agency with clients that included Tim Horton’s, Kraft, General Mills, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Molson, Debbie Travis, Canadian Tire, Pfizer, Danone, Corby’s, ITL.
In my spare time I also was Founding Chair of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada, in cooperation with the Association of Canadian Advertisers. I continue to design and teach courses for the Association of Canadian Advertisers, including their Fundamentals of Branding & Design program and also their Sponsorship program.

Giving back to my community is also important to me. I currently serve as President of the Empire Club of Canada – North America’s oldest speakers’ forum of record – for the 2008-09 Season, and also serve as a board member for Variety – The Children’s Charity and ABC Literacy.

Like Andreas, I was frustrated with agencies that claimed to be communication agnostic, but never actually behaved that way. I also came to realize that the way I’d built businesses and brands in the past no longer worked, even though most people still had their head down hoping it would all go away. This has to be a better way and I believe we are finding it!


Contact Us

Fisheye Corporation
293 Augusta Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2M2

Jo-Ann McArthur
Direct: 416.949.3817

Andreas Duess
Direct: 416.301.9002

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