Ikea drops St Luke's to take £8m ad task in-house

LONDON - St Luke's has lost its £8 million Ikea UK account, following the advertiser's decision to take the above-the-line work in-house.

Ikea UK confirmed that it is parting company with St Luke's after a six-year relationship and has served notice on its contract, but will continue to work with the agency until February.

Anders Danielsson, the marketing manager of Ikea UK, commented: "It was not an easy decision to take, but the time is now right for a change."

He added: "Ikea is introducing a flexible approach to advertising. We are dispensing with the exclusive working relationship with one retained agency.

"In the future we will work with a variety of different agencies, as well as do more work in-house."

Danielsson insisted: "Although, I must stress that we will continue to work with St Luke's until February and we will not be holding a tender for new agencies. The decision is no reflection on the team at St Luke's. The separation is entirely amicable. We are parting on good terms and we will remain friends."

The company is expected to use freelance creatives to work on its advertising and observers expect Karmarama, the creative consultancy set up by the former St Luke's creative director Dave Buonaguidi, to pick up some projects.

Ikea was St Luke's first major account and the agency went on to do some of its most famous work for the brand, such as the campaign featuring Swedish "mafia".

Andy Law, the chairman of St Luke's, said: "It's been a tremendous partnership for six years. We wish it the very best of luck in its new experimental structure."

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