Is it a hospital? Is it a girl’s school? No, it’s an ad agency -
but definitely a rather unusual one. In fact, the St Luke’s way of
working is so unusual that it is organising monthly tours for clients,
management gurus and TV companies who want to see it for themselves.
Agency marketing director David Abraham is currently considering a range
of offers from TV companies keen to commit the St Luke’s spirit to
It is not just the fact that St Luke’s is what the financiers call a
’quest’ (with every employee owning an equal shareholding , having
access to all the books and voting for their own pay increases) that has
proved so intriguing, but the physical appearance of the agency.
Nobody has an office or a secretary, there is an in-house artist and
masseuse on hand to relive stress, and the building houses a string of
themed rooms including a red ’womb’ for quiet contemplation and a
chill-out room for relaxation.
If you, like Mix, have wondered what bizarre creative spark inspired
Ikea’s ’chuck out your chintz’ campaign, you’ll find it in the Ikea
brand room, minimalist enough to make the most dedicated Swede feel
truly at home.
Every client has a brand room where they work with the agency team -
Eurostar’s is like a train carriage, Boots 17 is like a teenager’s
bedroom and the agency’s newest client, Clark’s, has a room which looks
like a shoe-shop.
The Midland team is just moving to a bigger room, where it intends to
install old cashpoint machines - but definitely no queues - to get the
creative juices flowing.
David Abraham admits it is an unusual set-up which comes as a bit of a
shock to some clients. But although it is all a bit too radical for
some, he believes that St Luke’s clients prefer the brand rooms to a
They also enjoy joining agency staff for an Italian lunch in the
in-house restaurant. They know not to criticise the food though. It’s
all cooked by agency chef Signor Buonaguidi - dad of creative director
- We have to come clean - Mix was highly sceptical when Japanese artist
Tomoko Takahashi staged an exhibition of rubbish in the offices of
Claydon Heeley earlier this year. Now she has taken the same theme to a
Norwich art college hosting the UK’s largest exhibition of contemporary
art and won the pounds 5000 first prize against 36 other entrants. OK,
Claydon Heeley, we admit it’s probably art. But is it direct marketing?