US agency Joan eyes EMEA growth with London offshoot

Joan (l-r): Ghiden MD, Hathaway, Jennings CFO, Robinson and Clunie

Ghiden, Hathaway, Jennings, Robinson, Clunie

US-based independent creative and brand transformation agency Joan Creative is opening a new international office in London as a springboard for global expansion as it aims to capture a slice of the UK and EMEA market.

Joan London is the first international expansion of the New York-based agency and its full-service maker studio, Joan Studios, co-founded by Lisa Clunie and Jaime Robinson in 2016.

The London shop will be led by executive creative director Kirsty Hathaway, formerly vice-president of creative at Refinery29 and managing director Tom Ghiden, formerly joint head of business leadership at McCann London, who will be joining the agency in mid-August.

The new office opens with a roster of clients that includes eBay, Cereal Partners Worldwide , Rare Beauty, and start-up Luna Daily.

The agency insists it pushes against what it claims is “the exclusionary nature of advertising agencies” with the bosses believing strongly that a diverse team better connects brands to culture.

Leveraging its proprietary strategic brand mapping tool, The Growth Wheel, to build brand leaders and drive transformation, Joan London maintains it will speak directly to audiences across the UK and EMEA.

The agency claims its UK team has a deep knowledge of audience-building, establishing strong brands and creating cultural moments, with a focus on modern media approaches, such as editorial, content, social and digital.

The UK team comprises staff from diverse backgrounds and expertise to deliver its mission of “making legendary brands modern, and modern brands legendary”.

Clunie said: “The UK is renowned for its world-leading culture and diversity and it perfectly represents everything that is important to Joan. We have big ambitions for the UK, and we’re ready to create iconic moments for iconic brands and drive all-important change.”

Hathaway added: “I can’t wait to fuse Joan’s joyfully rebellious attitude, strategic prowess and big thinking with my editorial and culture-driven background to help build modern brands and tell impactful stories.

“I am excited about being able to merge the best culture-making talent, the most interesting brains and true diverse thinking from both the advertising and editorial worlds to bring something new to London’s advertising.”

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