New agency Joint starts with Verde banking bonus

RKCR/Y&R is proving a useful grounding for breakaways and now Joint, the agency formed by former Y&R directors Damon Collins and Richard Exon, has landed its first piece of business – Verde, the name for the 600 or so bank branches bought from LLoyds TSB by the Co-op.

Adam & Eve, the John Lewis agency that was bought recently by DDB London for up to £60m, was another Y&R London breakaway, moving on to fame and fortune despite being landed with a large writ from Sir Martin Sorrell, Y&R’s owner, for approaching clients in their notice period.

Forking out around £1m would have killed most new ventures stone dead but Adam & Eve went on to great things (well not that many but it was only independent for a couple of years or so).

SMS and his lawyers have no doubt been scrutinising the behaviour of the Joint evacuees rigorously but, so far, no writ. Even though it’s quite clear that the experience they gained on Lloyds TSB will have stood them in good stead with the management of Verde, which seems to be more Lloyds than new owner Co-op, whose agency is the recently appointed Leo Burnett.

It’s a coup for Joint all the same, which beat the UK’s number one agency AMV/BBDO (which would just love a bank), Saatchi & Saatchi and 101, another breakaway, this time from Saatchi-owned Fallon, which has still to fly despite the additional presence of highly-regarded former Cadbury marketing director Phil Rumbol.

How long will it be before one of the marcoms majors comes knocking with a big cheque for Joint? It would be nice to think that a prolonged spell of independence is on their agenda. But these days the marcoms mob wave money at new agencies just to get their hands on one big account.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.