Ex-CEO Frank Palmer returns to DDB’s Vancouver office in major shakeup

Frank Palmer | Submitted

What happened: Leadership shakeup sees Frank Palmer returning to lead his former ad agency

Why it matters: Palmer had retired last year but has quickly returned to the fold

One of the biggest names in the Vancouver advertising game is returning to his long-time home.

DDB Canada announced Tuesday (June 23) former DDB Canada chairman and CEO Frank Palmer will be taking over the company’s Vancouver office.

He’ll be joined by business partner Bob Stamnes, while the Vancouver operations will be rebranded as Palmer Stamness DDB.

Palmer will serve as a chairman, Stamnes will serve as CEO and Patty Jones will serve as president of the rebranded office.

The homecoming follows an executive leadership shakeup in which CEO and chief creative officer Brent Choi departs DDB Canada.

Kevin Brady has been named president and CEO of DDB Canada’s Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton offices, and Megan Hardistry has been appointed managing director of DDB Canada Toronto.

Palmer’s last full day at DDB Canada was December 31, 2018, however, he remained in a part-time capacity until April 2019 — the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Palmer Jarvis agency.

He helped expand the company across Western Canada by buying competing agencies.

By 1997, Palmer Jarvis had offices in Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg. 

That’s when holding company Omnicom Group Inc. bought the venture and merged it with DDB’s Canadian operations.

Palmer is an inductee in the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and a founder of the National Advertising Benevolent Society.

“I believe we are entering a new era of marketing communications, where in addition to stellar creativity, we must marry agility with scalability in order to meet today’s client demands for speed to market, and this is what Palmer Stammes DDB will deliver,” Palmer said in a statement. 

“I’m looking forward to pushing our boundaries beyond what others see as possible, which is why I’m excited to return to the DDB family.”

—With files from Glen Korstrom



Frank Palmer discusses his biography, Let’s Get Frank, with BIV.