Townshend reveals start-up ‘Now’

John Townshend has finally revealed his start-up, joining forces with ex-COI chief Mark Lund and former Partners Andrews Aldridge planning director Kate Waters to launch the agency called Now.
Townshend left Rapier last year, after nearly 16 years with the business, and has been planning the start-up since, although spent time making sure he got the offer right. The agency will be based around the principle of offering clients “immediate measurable results that build brand and business simultaneously”.
Townshend, the agency world’s very own landed gentry – the second Viscount Charles was branded ‘Turnip Townshend’, on the back of his agricultural innovations in the 18th century and his family own Raynham Hall – has built a reputation as one of the truly integrated creative directors.
He started his career at Ogilvy & Mather straight from college in 1987, initially on the account side. Then he joined the faltering Yellowhammer and ended up at DMB&B in 1990. Townshend went on to be one of the agency’s youngest group heads, working on accounts including Fiat, Cancer Research Campaign and St Ivel.
By the mid-Nineties, Townshend – or Lord T as he is affectionately known – joined a small agency of 20 people, then called Rapier Stead & Bowden, as joint creative director. While at Rapier he worked on the likes of Virgin Media, Lloyds TSB, the AA and Channel 4, creating TV, digital and direct campaigns, although the agency has lost most of those accounts since then.
Lund was a co-founder of Delaney Lund Knox Warren. He joined COI as chief executive two years ago but quit earlier this month. Waters was head of planning at Euro RSCG and Partners Andrews Aldridge and strategy director at Engine but left to join PR agency Blue Rubicon.

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