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taxi heads to europe 20 May 2009 The Canadian agency touches down in Amsterdam, acquiring a majority stake in Dutch digital agency Ottonico. all videos

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With five outposts in Canada and a base in New York, independent agency TAXI is spreading its wings and heading across the pond to Amsterdam. But instead of taking on the task of starting from scratch, TAXI has paired up with digital agency Ottonico, which over the next few months will be integrated and rebranded as TAXI Europe. "Our philosophies and cultures are well matched," said TAXI co-founder Jane Hope. "We both believe that creativity is a tool for solving business problems, and we believe that an intuitive understanding of the art of storytelling, matched with an up to the moment understanding of media technology, assures brand consistency and greater market impact." Ottonico was founded in 2008 by Eric Verhage and Maarten van Huijstee, who will now take on the roles of general manager and executive creative director at TAXI Europe. Clients of the agency include Heineken, TNT Post and Footlocker, and Hope is optimistic that the two agencies will be able share their experiences. "What we are really happy about," she said, "is that as much as we will inject some of our legacy expertise into the group in Amsterdam, they will in turn bring deep expertise in application development, gaming and innovation to our family."

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And in a time when the global financial situation is causing most agencies to scale down, TAXI is relishing the challenge of creating new business ideas in the rocky economic climate. "With every challenge comes opportunity for those who are nimble, creative and able to embrace change. TAXI has experienced one of its best years in new business development ever, as clients look for an agency to help them navigate the changing economic context and the changing media context," Hope and van Huijstee said.

TAXI Canada TAXI Europe

As well as focusing on current Dutch clients, TAXI Europe will also be looking to expand its European roster, as well as offering European potential to its North American brands. And working across different markets is something that Hope believes the agency is more than well-equipped for: "TAXI was founded in French Canada and works in both French and English for many clients, so we understand that ideas need to work beyond language to deliver in multiple markets. And right now clients are looking for brand messaging that works across cultural borders and capabilities in multiple markets." Visit Shots on

TAXI is the third North American indie agency in as many months to go transatlantic. Back in February, Modernista! also set up shop in Amsterdam, while David&Goliath found a second home in London.

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28/07/2009 14:57

News: TAXI open in Europe