Agency executives launch app to tackle industry's 'well-being crisis'

Juno has already raised £650,000 in funding round.

Juno: Roach, Fekaiki and Gilet
Juno: Roach, Fekaiki and Gilet

A former DeVries UK art director has launched an employee-support platform called Juno, aimed specifically at marcoms professionals, in an attempt to tackle the industry's "wellbeing crisis" head-on.

Ally Fekaiki, who left DeVries three years ago, founded the business with former Essence director Verity Roach as chief marketing director. Gwen Gilet is Juno's chief operating officer. 

Launched this week, the app offers a range of lifestyle services for employees to choose from, allowing them to mix and match every month. Options include therapy, fitness, home-cleaning and nanny services. During the pilot phase, Juno worked with agencies including creative studio Koto and influencer marketing shop Buttermilk.

Campaign sister title PRWeek's own research found that the proportion of communications professionals experiencing mental-health problems has changed little in the past year.

Caroline Matthews, co-founder and managing director of Koto, said she believes on-demand employee platforms will grow in popularity because of the choice they offer users and the flexibility they provide to employers.

"The whole issue of mental health is becoming critical within agency land," Buttermilk co-founder Jamie Ray added. "We know the conversation has been increasingly touched upon but, as an agency owner, it's one thing to talk about it and another to have something that genuinely moves the needle."

Juno has already raised £650,000 in a funding round led by venture-capital group Fuel Ventures.

Fekaiki said it was obvious from his time working in the industry that there is a "well-being crisis".

"It was clear that the fast-paced nature of the industry means employee well-being often drops way down the priority list," he said. "I was fed up of hearing from friends that their stress levels were out of control and their employers were struggling to deal with it.

"Over the past couple of years, the dial is starting to turn as agencies in the sector wake up to the fact that a happy, healthy employee is also a productive one."

A version of this story first appeared on PRWeek