Copeland gets new ownership

6 Jun

A tabby cat crawls out from inside a paper bag

I’ve had this secret burning me up all week in Quebec City and now that I’m back, it’s time to share it:

Last week I acquired Copeland Communications from long-time owner Steven Dagg.

Damn, that felt good.

I want to thank my friends David Walker, Ian Maxwell and Bill Kellett for their advice and support while I moved on this opportunity.

I want to thank Rose McDonald, Copeland’s Accounting Manager, for her tireless work behind the scenes to make this happen. She’s an amazing person to have in your corner.

And I want to thank Steven Dagg. He not only brought me here from Vancouver in 2008, but trusts me enough to protect his own 20-year legacy in taking Copeland forward.

Not many Canadian agencies live to be 30 years old as Copeland is. It takes a lot of stubbornness, smart work and astute business management, especially when your world is as fluid as ours. Agencies come and go. Copeland has endured. I appreciate and respect what Steve and previous owners Clare Copeland, Pam Middleton and Keith Dagg have accomplished.

So where do we go from here?

We remain an ideas company. Ideas are what matter and what we do well. The digital landscape will continue to evolve rapidly. Our job is not to become transfixed by any one shiny new medium, but to be attuned to all of them, so that we can apply our ideas in the most relevant and impactful ways.

We have a stellar team, an enviable client list and a corporate culture that has brought us international attention and scores of flesh-eating interns wandering our halls.

You can expect Copeland will continue to innovate in our work. We will continue to support our community. We will continue to help students make their way into the work place. We will continue to have dogs in the office.

This is starting to read like a politician’s stump speech so I’m going to wrap it up.

With the purchase done, I’m looking forward to the future more than I ever have.

Thank you for supporting Copeland. And please…don’t stop now!



77 Responses to “Copeland gets new ownership”

  1. Avril June 6, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Wow big congrats Doug – at least I am assuming you are he!!
    Great move they are lucky to have you at the helm and leading the charge.
    Rock on

  2. Adem Tepedelen June 6, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Wow! Great news. Congrats, Doug!

  3. Bertha June 6, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    How exciting, congrats! Just let me know where and when the celebrating is happening!

  4. Jody Beck June 6, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Huge shout out to you Doug!!! Beers on me!!!

  5. Lindsey Maloney June 6, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Congratulations Doug! I’m so happy and excited for you and the Cope gang. I second Bertha… where and when is the party?

  6. Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Great news Doug. All the best from Ragan Advertising!

  7. Felice June 6, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Congratulations! Fantastic news. Continued success to you and the Copeland Team 🙂

  8. Janice June 6, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Big congrats Doug! Great news to know that Copeland is in good hands! (heres to a good 30 years ahead!)

  9. KyleWith June 6, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    That is great news, Doug. I always look forward to your posts and I’ll look forward to what ever Copeland comes up with next.

  10. :]ack June 6, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Wow…great news! Congratulations Doug.

  11. Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    You’re all grown up now!

  12. Alain Vinet June 6, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Un mot en francais pour encore une fois te féliciter. Bravo et longue vie à Copeland et Doug !

  13. Renee June 6, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Wow! Exciting news!

    Something that impresses me about Copeland is it’s approachability and lucidity. From the few times I’ve met you, and from reading your posts, it’s clear that this is what you are about as an individual as well.

    Copeland clearly has a great team and is in good hands. Congratulations on your continuing evolution and momentum! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from you in the near and distant future.

  14. Doug Brown June 6, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you very much everybody for these supportive comments. Et merci beaucoup Alain. When I think about the great friends Copeland has in Victoria and across the country, I feel becoming the owner was a no-brainer. But then I’ve been accused of no-brain decisions before!

  15. The Tarts at Tartan June 6, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Congrats to Doug and the amazing gang at Copeland. You are an amazing team and deserve all the success in the world.

  16. Dale Baglo June 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Congratulations Doug! As previous posters have stated, Copeland is indeed in good and capable hands.

  17. Chris Burdge June 6, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Wow – knock me over with a feather and call me Susan – that is some big news! You must be equal parts ecstatic, proud and terrified (at least I would be).

    Congratulations Doug. I wish you and the team at Copeland continued success.

  18. Lynne DeCew June 6, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    I always knew you were destined for big things, Doug. Now stop reading your fan mail and get to work – you’ve got an agency to run!

  19. margriet aasman June 6, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Congratulations Doug. You have been very instrumental in where Copeland is today… and it only makes sense. We wish you all the success you deserve.

  20. Zeke Aasman June 6, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    That’s awesome Doug, does your coffee now taste even better in the morning?

  21. hitgirl June 6, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Congratulations Doug! That is HUGE news! I’m thrilled for you AND Copeland – look forward to all the great things to come.

  22. Doug Brown June 6, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I wish I had time to fully absorb all the fan mail (thanks Lynne!) but I’m on dish duty and have to wash the champagne glasses. Thank you very much Margriet and Zeke and Chris and Dale and those Tarts from Tartan!

  23. Murray Kirk June 6, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Congratulations to you and everyone at Copeland Doug and may good fortune be yours 🙂

  24. Amy June 6, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Wow! Awesome news, Doug! Congratulations!

  25. Mario Parise June 6, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Congrats! That’s super cool news, Doug.

  26. Deb Pound June 6, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Bravo! The right man and the right time – well done you!
    Looking forward to a celebratory brew with you next time I’m in Victoria.

  27. Bill Whitehead sr. June 6, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    I salute both Steven and your self for making this happen and offer my help if ever required to make this a happy change Good luck, God bless!

  28. Justine June 6, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Extraordinary News! So proud of you. Let’s celebrate!

  29. Doug Brown June 6, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    It means a lot to me to have my friends from the last agency I worked for, Go Direct/RMG Connect, represent here with such support. Thank you Deb and Justine.

    For those of you who don’t know Bill Whitehead Sr, he is the founder of T-CAAN, the organization of independent ad agencies across the country. He just participated in his 49th annual conference in Quebec City. Hail Bill!

  30. Don Power June 6, 2011 at 11:28 am #


    I’ve had the great fortune to meet and interact with you and members of your staff like Asmâa Methqal – and having been in this business a long time myself, I can tell that you folks are quality.

    That you now own that ethos – philosophically and now economically, well, the world is indeed your oyster!

    Congrats to you and the fine folks who make up your squad!

    – Don

  31. Brandscaping June 6, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    That’s huge news Doug – congrats and all the best!

  32. melwood June 6, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I wish you all the best in the next exciting phase. (why do I have Shania Twain song in my head?)

  33. GV June 6, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    All the best Doug, but your still the Zombies of Victoria to me.

  34. David Walker June 6, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Congrats Doug & team … we wish you all the best in the journey ahead. Hope it’s rewarding, invigorating, and inspiring!

  35. Tricia June 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Congrats Doug!!! Looks good on you!

  36. Sanci Solbakken June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm #


    Congratulations! All the best as you embark on this exciting adventure as an entrepreneur. Your hard work, loyalty and commitment to your clients, not to mention your faith and commitment to your staff, will ensure you success in this new role.

  37. @tpholmes June 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Congratulations, Doug (and everyone else, including the Zombie interns).

    Copeland is in good hands with you at the helm!

  38. Z June 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    It is fantastic news, Mr, Brown. Congratulations to you, and Copeland!

  39. Michela June 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Big news, big congrats Doug!

  40. maureen blaseckie June 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    What they said, yeah, pretty much sums it all up. You’ve worked hard and deserve it. The human touch, the humour and the love of all things undead as long as it’s zombies…
    Yup, what they said and what all the others who read this and didn’t have the time to comment are thinking, you rock…


  41. Nicole sorochan June 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Congrats to you and to Copeland! Looking forward to seeing more great things from you 🙂

  42. Doug Brown June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I really wish I could respond to each of these comments separately but that would just drive people crazy. So please accept my sincere thanks for the good wishes from so many good people. As I have heard more than once today, we have a great community supporting us, wherever they may be.

    Have to give a special thanks to Z (Zoran) and David Walker, friends and fellow ad guys I’ve admired for many years. Special to hear from you.

  43. asmaamethqal June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Congratulations! Félicitations! Mabrouk!
    The sky is the limit! I am quite excited about the future of Copeland! :o)

  44. TrishaLees June 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Doug, you have done such a superb job at Copeland to date and I’m sure more greatness is on the horizon. You can’t go wrong with your attitude and the team behind you.
    All the best to you,

  45. DFH Real Estate June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Congrats! Wishing you much success. From all of us at DFH.

  46. Derek Ford June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Congratulations, Doug and Copeland!
    I am very happy for you.
    As it was meant to be.
    Best wishes for your continued success and happiness.

  47. Doug Brown June 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Nice comments to take in as the day winds down. Thank you for taking the time to leave them. You helped make this a memorable start for me.

  48. Dawne Wooten June 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Fantastic news, Doug! I look forward to seeing you continue to grow and evolve and I know you will prosper! Guess you are truly a Victorian now 🙂

  49. Sue Manzuik June 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Wow – great news Doug! Congrats to you and your team of zombies as you begin this new and exciting chapter at Copeland.

  50. Stef June 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    A big Toast to you, Doug, and the rest of the Copeland team! Great News! Congratulations!

  51. Sylvia Chan June 7, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    Singapore cheers for you! I am very proud of your achievement and warmest congratulations. Wishing you and your team every success and may all your combined passion, talent and dedication raise Copeland to greater heights. Hugs and kisses. xx PS: Will keep the champagne chilled till you come over.

  52. Doug Brown June 7, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Hey, thank you Dawne, Sue, Stef and Sylvia – all great friends of ours: two former Copelanders, a recent intern (not zombified) and a former boss from Singapore!

  53. Jeremy Rawle June 7, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    The extremes you have to go to to avoid getting a real job, congratulations! ” the working class can now kiss your ass “.
    Doug, your enthusiasm has always been infectious and I am sure you, of all people will make a go of it then you can sell it to JWT etc and get your own back.
    I’ll drink a toast to you later, then you can buy beer when your here.
    Look forward to catching up sometime in the sunshine.

  54. Sharon McInnis June 7, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Well done, Doug!


  55. Steve Hutchinson June 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Congratulations Doug and all of the Copeland Team. As a Copeland Crony, its great to see the company survive and thrive during these interesting economic times.

  56. Doug Brown June 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Jeremy, brilliant to hear from you. I can promise you that I am not going to sell to JWT. They’ve bought just about every company I’ve ever worked for, but they’re not getting Copeland! And thanks for waiting for me to buy the beer. I’m sure I owe you a few. 🙂

    I appreciate the good wishes Sharon and Steve. Great to have comments from you both on our blog.

  57. Chris June 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    “I liked it so much, I bought the company!”

    Great stuff, Doug. A big congratulations to you and your team. Go get ’em.

  58. lotus johnson June 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Wow! Congratulations!! Hopefully you will continue to spread your creative ideas throughout our community in bigger and better ways..

  59. Doug Brown June 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    > Yo Victor, er Chris, cheers man! No doubt you will be a wealth of good advice for me.

    > We can always get better Lotus, that’s for sure. Thank you.

  60. Reg June 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Well, late to the ball, but no less excited and thrilled for you Doug. Congratulations. What’s more, this is great news for the staff at Copeland, knowing you’re even more invested (literally and figuratively) than ever, AND your clients, who no doubt are raising a glass in your honour, and pleased to know that such a capable mind — and soul — is at the helm.

    Fantastic news — congratulations to ALL at Copeland on this excellent news of the agency’s evolution.

  61. Simon June 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Doug, great news. Best of luck.

  62. Churchill Wild June 8, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Congratulations! Hard quality work & dedication always pays off.

  63. Doug Brown June 8, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    > Reg I always wanted skin in the game, just never imagined I would be chucking in the entire integumentary system, the muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs too. Thanks for constant support. Means a lot.

    > Simon, I’m liking what you’re doing with Bare. Good luck to you – can’t imagine it won’t be a big success. Thanks for your good wishes.

    > Cheers Rick! I hope you guys are having a good summer up in Churchill.

  64. JP Holecka June 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Well done Doug and welcome to the club. I know you will do well and continue to make great ideas happen.


  65. douglasmagazine June 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Doug, congrats from Brian Hartz and the team at Douglas magazine. We haven’t had the chance to meet yet but I hope the opportunity comes soon. In the meantime, best wishes for your new venture.

  66. Jodie June 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Doug! I couldn’t be happier…for you, Steven and Copeland. How amazing you must feel right now – on cloud nine I’m sure. How nice for Steven to know he’s passing on the business to such a worthy sea captain! And of course, the Copeland team – lucky bunch of zombies they are to have such a brilliant and fearless leader. You’re one heck of a guy, supported by a shiny new business card to prove it. Congrats my friend.

  67. Doug Brown June 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    > Nice of you to pop in with your good wishes JP. I hope business is booming at Powershifter!

    > Thanks a lot Brian and the gang from Douglas Magazine. I look forward to meeting you soon. I get to hang out with Jody Beck from time to time so I have a pretty good idea what a great group you are.

    > Hey Jodie – the first client I got to work with in Victoria! Thanks for your support over the years. We will have to catch up on a sunny patio soon! Thanks for leaving your sweet comment.

  68. Ciara June 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Congrats Doug (& to all the other Copelanders)! Great opportunity and no doubt you will do an amazing job at it. Exciting times and I will definitely be staying tuned to see what you have in store!

  69. Anonymous June 9, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Great news! I wish you and the Copeland team continued success.

  70. Doug Brown June 9, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    > Thanks a lot Ciara. We miss you around here. Especially when the zombie interns get hungry. 😉

    > Anonymous, whoever you are…thank you.

  71. Heather June 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Congratulations Doug! I know you will continue to build on the great foundation in place.

  72. Doug Brown June 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Heather I had an awfully good mentor in Virginia Greene. I feel I have a responsibility to try and live up to the example she set as an agency owner. Thanks for the good wishes – so great to have a comment from you on our blog!

  73. Neil Tran June 10, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    A BIG congrats Doug! Looking forward to seeing great things from Copeland.

  74. Doug Brown June 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks a lot Neil. I appreciate you saying so. Meanwhile, get #planking! 😉

  75. Anonymous June 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Congrats Doug and the gang! This is great news!

  76. Lauren Barnard June 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Congrats Doug! That is wonderful news!


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