School Reports 2016: Now

New York Bakery Co
New York Bakery Co

Now had a quiet 2015. Perhaps that was to be expected after losing its co-founder Mark Lund. But the agency has reshaped its business in the hope that the changes will bear fruit.

The creative department was the most transformed. Steve Paskin, who had been overseeing the team, left at the end of 2015. John Townshend, who became the chairman, hired Mcgarrybowen’s Remco Graham in early 2016 for the new role of executive creative director, giving him a stake in the business in the process.

Now promoted its client services director, Laura Chamberlain, to the new post of managing director in December, launched a data division and plans to open a design arm this year.

The businesses that Now won in 2015 tended to be tech start-ups and on a project basis, meaning the agency rarely troubled Campaign’s new-business rankings. But Now says its income is up 10 per cent from 2014.

The agency’s biggest win from a financial perspective was Pink Parcel, a service that delivers a monthly supply of sanitary products to women alongside other goodies. Other new clients include The Beano, Laundrapp, the Wellcome Trust, the World Green Building Council and Money Saving Expert.

Now extended its relationship with BT and added social strategy for New York Bakery Co and Petplan.

We have said the same thing about Now for the past couple of years. The agency needs to win bigger clients and up its creative game if it wants to rocket. But it feels as though Now is in better shape to deliver that this year.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"We’ve made a conscious effort to work with tech start-ups and take on more projects. We were awarded for our work on #TweetTaps with WaterAid and the idea was displayed at The London Design Festival. Our ad for New York Bakery Co (shot by Ed Morris) was your Ad of the Day. We’ve promoted Laura Chamberlain to managing director and have decided to turbocharge creativity by hiring an executive creative director as a fourth partner."

Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2015 £24m
Nielsen billings 2014 £16m
Declared income £3.4m
Total accounts at year end 25
Accounts won 12 (biggest: Pink Parcel)
Accounts lost 1 (Public Health England)
Number of staff 42 (+11%)
Key personnel John Townshend, chairman and creative partner
Melissa Robertson, managing partner
Kate Waters, strategy partner
Laura Chamberlain, managing director

Score key: 9 Outstanding  8 Excellent  7 Good  6 Satisfactory  5 Adequate  4 Below average  3 Poor  2 A year to forget  1 Survival in question

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.


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