Sid Lee

Sid Lee: Agency Profile (excerpt)

By Tiffany Meyers
, March/April 2010 Interactive Annual

In 1977, Montréal-born Prime Minister and l’enfant terrible of Canadian politics, Pierre Trudeau, famously did a pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth’s back. It was the slapstick version of his oft-cited call to arms: “Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos.”

Sixteen years later, in 1993, Jean-François Bouchard and Philippe Meunier founded Sid Lee (then called Diesel) in Montréal. They had between them: two degrees (law, design), zero advertising agency experience and no idea that, for the next 16 years, they’d overthrow every totem and taboo the advertising industry had to offer.

The recent graduates moved into a building that thugs loved to rob. Mainly, they stole the partners’ laptops, unloading them at the neighborhood pawnshop for cash. Pas de problème. Bouchard, now President, and Meunier, Chief Creative Officer and Senior Partner, would just take a walk to the same pawnshop, where their machines waited to be bought back.

The full Sid Lee story, which appears in Communication Arts’ March/April 2010 issue, is available to subscribers only. Please visit the magazine’s website for more information.

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