During the 1990s St Luke's earned a reputation as one of the UK's hottest creative agencies, as well as its most idiosyncratic. Under founding guru Andy Law, the company was renowned for its radical thinking, operating as a non-hierarchical cooperative. All employees had an equal shareholding in the business, there were no personal desks, a completely mobile phone system, and rooms dedicated to specific clients rather than to its personnel. Did the system work? Despite its utopian management style, the agency built up a strong portfolio of leading clients in its heyday, but was later rocked by a series of management rifts which led to a full palace revolution and the ousting of Andy Law in 2003, as well as creative director Kate Stanners. (Andy Law never regained the standing he held in the early days of St Luke's, but Stanners went on to significantly greater things as global creative chief at Saatchi & Saatchi). Following their departure, St Luke's influence dwindled steadily in the second half of the decade. More recently, though, the agency has mellowed its radical stance under current chief executive Neil Henderson, and that appears to have helped its new business record. It rarely makes the headlines, but chugs along quite comfortably as a mid-level creative shop.
Capsule checked 6th January 2020
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