Cover image for Creative company : how St. Luke's became "the ad agency to end all ad agencies"
Creative company : how St. Luke's became "the ad agency to end all ad agencies"
Law, Andy, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Wiley, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 269 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Published in Great Britain by Orion Business, 1998, under title: Open minds.

"Adweek books"--p. [ii].
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF6181.S7 L39 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"This is the book I wish I had written. Andy Law has redefined the agency for the twenty-first century. It will be interesting to see how many agencies follow his lead." ? Jay Chiat, Founder, Chiat/Day

"Passion. Rebellion. Guts. Glory. This book has the breathy pace of a thriller. The story of how St. Luke?s takes on the advertising establishment is a merger of the ballad of Robin Hood?s merry band and the story of David and Goliath. In fact, it?s a parable not just for the advertising business, but for all business today and tomorrow. St. Luke?s is definitely on to something." ? Marty Cooke, Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi

"Andy Law is one of the few creative executives who has learned by doing, not just telling. So it?s exciting to have him chronicle all that learning for us. Having watched him build St. Luke?s from the start, it feels like watching Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon?s surface. He is truly pioneering how companies will have to be run in the twenty-first century." ? Geraldine B. Laybourne, Chairman and CEO Oxygen Media

"Creative Company is an intriguing story that captures the soul of the new economy. It is a must-read for managers who want to bring out exceptional performance in their team?or for anyone who wants insight into the future of business." ? Deborah Kenny, Group Publisher, Sesame Street magazines

"It?s a big book. It needs to be." ? Dan Wieden Founder, Wieden and Kennedy

Why does Fast Company magazine call St. Luke?s "the ad agency to end all ad agencies" ? How can a company function, let alone thrive, when it has "eschewed conventional hierarchy in favor of the flattest possible organizational layout and the craziest ever decision-making process" ? And why on earth would some of the most talented and sought-after minds in the advertising world forsake the fabulous perks available to senior managers and risk everything for a company where no one has even a desk to call his or her own?

In Creative Company, the chairman and cofounder of St. Luke?s answers these questions and many more. Andy Law writes candidly and enthusiastically about breaking the agency mold and organizing a company in a completely different way.

St. Luke?s is nothing if not different?to many, the agency described in this remarkable and challenging book may hardly sound like a business at all. In 1995, a small band of highly creative people who loved the work but hated the workplace established a company designed not only to get the most out of them, but to give the most back?a company in which creativity, curiosity, versatility, and a sense of fun are assets to be celebrated, not encumbrances to be left outside the door. Law recounts how many St. Luke?s employee/owners discovered new sources of satisfaction, hidden talents, and even entirely new careers as they encouraged each other to experiment, learn, and grow. Meanwhile, the agency?s annual billings soared to more than $90 million in three memorable years.

Complete with revealing tales of advertising legends such as Jay Chiat, Bill Tragos, Frank Lowe, and the Omnicom chieftains, Creative Company offers a fascinating, warts-and-all tour of the advertising industry. It also fires the opening volley of a revolution that aims to do nothing less than alter the "DNA" of business itself and, in Law?s words, "furiously seeks a new, better, more fulfilling, and fairer role for business in the lives of its employees."

The St. Luke?s story will challenge your preconceptions, stimulate your imagination, and may even change your mind.

Author Notes

ANDY LAW is Chairman and one of the founders of St. Luke?s, a London-based advertising agency. Previously, he was managing director of the London office of Chiat/Day, just before it was acquired by TBWA.

Table of Contents

In The Beginning
The Phone Call
A Way In
A Way Out
Air Miles
A New Job
1994 - A Golden Year
What a Wonderful World
Sale of the Century
We Go To a Desert Island
From Lucky Pigs to St. Luke's
We Are Sailing in a Strange Ship
Change The Way You Work
21st-Century Business
Organisation and Exploring
Daily Life at St. Luke's
Crash Test Dummies
Accidents and Emergencies
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
Icebergs Ahead
A Creative Company in the Creative Age
One Chapter Closes and Another One Hundred Open Up
Struggle In Paradise
Winter of Content
Spring in the Hothouse
The Summer of Love?
Ten Ways to Create a Revolution in Your Company
Dramatis Personae
Some Books Which Have Made Me Think