School Reports 2014: Now


Score: 7  Last year: 7

After two years of existence, Now has continued its strong start, growing income by 70 per cent in 2013. This was the result of a clutch of pleasing new client wins, as well as organic growth from its existing clients Butlins and the Department of Health.

In June last year, Now was hired by the healthcare charity Nuffield Health to handle advertising and strategic communications, and it was added to WaterAid’s roster as the lead strategic agency. Now also won Freesat in a keenly contested pitch against VCCP and picked up briefs from Smart Meters and EY.  

This increase in revenue allowed the agency to grow rapidly, jumping from 21 to 33 staff, and it moved to a new office on Wardour Street to house them all.

The creative work was strong (if a little unexciting) across a broad range of sectors. The humorous online film for WaterAid’s World Toilet Day, featuring a singing loo, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today, BBC News and The Huffington Post. A campaign for Freesat, meanwhile, secured a Campaign Pick of the Week and work for Habitat was shortlisted as an Outdoor finalist at the Campaign Big Awards.

Away from the creative highs, Now prides itself on producing measurable results for its roster of clients, which now include BT Business, Butlins, Habitat, New York Bakery Co and Petplan. The stability of its management team, led by the wise heads of Mark Lund, John Townshend, Kate Waters and Melissa Robertson, is testament to this vision.

In short, a good year for this young shop. But no time to rest on the laurels – more of the same is needed in 2014 and, to move up another notch, Now could do with a breakthrough campaign that gives it a little more buzz. 

How Now rates itself: 7

Now's year in a Tweet: @nowfeed is two years old and growing. New offices. New clients: Freesat. Nuffield Health. Wateraid. Revenue up 70%. Smiles up 99%. #chuffed

Type of agency Advertising
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel John Townshend creative partner
Kate Waters strategy partner
Mark Lund managing partner
Melissa Robertson managing partner
Nielsen billings 2013 £17m
Nielsen billings 2012 £6m
Declared income £2.9m
Total accounts at year end 12
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Nuffield Health)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 33 (+57%)

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.