School Reports 2016: Joint

Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime

It has become a ritual. Every year, Richard Exon makes his case for Joint getting an "outstanding" rating and every year we smile at his brass neck.

Then we tell him why he’s not getting one. And this year is no exception.

"We aren’t ones to crow," Exon tells us, with hyperbole that seems to know no bounds. That said, Joint has delivered creative work during the year that it can shout about with some justification.

No more so than with Amazon Prime. The TV spot focusing on the plight of a lonely little horse might have been cuteness overload but was well worthy of being named by NBC as one of its "commercials of 2015".

Moreover, as one commentator pointed out, the Amazon Prime output has proved that the agency is capable of extending what it has already done for TSB with "grown-up" work that "isolates a compelling proposition and conveys the message forcefully but not noisily".

It will be interesting to see if Joint can keep up the good work after last year’s appointment by Vue, the cinema chain, which has briefed it to revamp its brand strategy while transforming the cinema-going experience for its customers.

Vue headed what was a modest crop of new business harvested during 2015. This, though, may be symptomatic of an agency that only celebrated its third birthday last year finding its equilibrium having landed such a big fish as TSB so soon after its launch.

Outstanding? Only in your eyes for the time being, Richard. While Joint’s creative potency is not an issue, assembling a client list including more household names with budgets to match is a work in progress.

How the agency rates itself: 9

"We had four objectives for 2015. 1) Do work we’re proud of. 2) Achieve a 100 per cent new-business record. 3) Have fun. 4) Do all the above in our own discreet way. Thankfully, we achieved all four. So, for us at least, that’s a nine."

Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2015 £38m
Nielsen billings 2014 £28m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 15
Accounts won 6 (biggest: Thatchers)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 43 (+34%)
Key personnel Damon Collins, founder
Richard Exon, founder
Lori Meakin, founder

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.