School Reports 2013: Joint


Too early to score

Joint, probably the most hotly anticipated launch of 2012, finally opened for business in May. The founders Damon Collins and Richard Exon learnt from the mistakes of others and faultlessly stuck to the conditions of their former WPP contracts.

The wait proved not to be altogether wasted – as well as a particularly memorable photograph of the agency’s founding partners taken in a field with cattle (well, milk cows, actually – thereby making the wordplay on the name "Joint" fall down a bit), momentum was rapidly gained. Alongside the majority shareholders Collins and Exon, Lori Meakin and Nik Upton took their place in the line-up alongside the Friesians.

Within three months, Joint picked up the advertising account for Project Verde (the new TSB bank) after the purchase of more than 600 Lloyds Banking Group branches by The Co-operative Group. This involved a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and 101.

A very nice start indeed, although it didn’t stop the more mean-spirited from sniping that Exon and Collins’ relationship with Lloyds Banking Group during their time at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R presented them with a head start. Having to bed in such a large client (the brief includes brand identity as well as advertising) didn’t stop the new-business wheels turning. Seizing Air New Zealand was another triumph.

Key to Joint’s success in 2013 will be tangible evidence of strategic input and, more crucially, the agency’s creative output, of which in 2012 there was none to judge.

Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Damon Collins founder
Richard Exon founder
Lori Meakin founder
Nik Upton founder
Declared income n/a
Total accounts at year end 3
Accounts won 3 (biggest: Project Verde)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 12 (n/a)

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

How Joint rates itself: N/A

"Our first seven months have exceeded even our expectations. Project Verde – pitched for against three of the best agencies in town – is incredible. Helping create the biggest challenger brand for a generation is an amazing experience. Meanwhile our work with The Royal Marsden and Air New Zealand is an exhilarating mix of media, channels, ideas and technology.  We even picked up a few gongs for our very first piece of work, Roll on 2013."