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Robin Whalen

People used to vote with their wallets. Now, they vote with their time. We help brands, people, and companies create communications that win that battle.

Church+State is a privately-owned advertising agency. Many agencies proudly exclaim, “It’s about the work.” We think it’s actually about the people AND the work. But always, people first. What about their time? No agency established that priority, so we built one that did.

We work tirelessly to ensure we have an agency that people are proud to work in. Open door policy, ego’s checked at the door, and a collaborative approach built on trust, not fear. We love what we do, and you can feel it the minute you walk in the door.

Tell us about yourself?

I have always been interested in culture and how our behaviour intersects with it. My first dream was to become a lawyer, but when I realized that my pocketbook and patience would not outlast the process to pass the bar. I decided that the world of marketing and advertising would fulfill my love for creativity, accountability, and media in general.

I have been in advertising agencies my entire career, over 25 years. I was hooked from day one and never left. The energy, the constantly changing day, and the fact that we work across categories and sectors mean that this industry never sees a boring day.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

To weather the storm. Resilience is a powerful tool, and believing that you can push through hard times, pandemics, recessions, and anything else that comes across your path is critical.

What problem does your business solve?

People used to vote with their wallets. Now they vote with their time. We help brands, people, and companies create communications that win that battle.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Being a lifelong marketer, I wanted to create an agency where people WANT to work. Advertising agencies are notoriously hard on their people. We wanted to be an agency full of smart people solving business problems and simply having fun along the way.

What is your magic sauce?

I’d like to think it’s how we treat people. We were recently recognized as “Great Places To Work” for the 2022/2023 year, and this is a reflection of our commitment to culture. Our work is amazing, our people are respected, and I think our clients feel that. We’ll do what it takes to build their business, but always keeping in mind the humans that produce the ideas and the work and deliver the service.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We would love to double our business, build adjacency businesses in related fields (podcast publishing, training, etc.) and build the careers of our people.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The pandemic was a struggle for the vast majority of our clients. Obviously, marketing budgets were cut, which impacted our business. In addition, having to pivot to an entirely remote workforce overnight and ensure that our team was motivated, inspired, and had the tools they needed to stay creative and current was a challenge. We had a few hiccups but were quickly able to adapt. T.V. shoots were done using stock footage or scaled-down crews, and teams collaborated using various digital platforms and ongoing social ‘meetings’ to keep the team connected, which helped us to see through the pandemic and realize a few of our very best years since we launched.

How can people get involved?

We love solving business problems! If you are looking for a new and refreshed brand strategy, or brand identity, or have communication/advertising challenges you need solved, we’d love to chat! Email