Media Lifeline: Naked's UK operation

Innovative work for 118 118 cemented Naked's reputation in the UK.

July 2000: Jon Wilkins, the joint managing director of New PHD, John Harlow, the managing director of Rocket, and Will Collin, PHD's director of strategic services, leave to set up a new type of agency - Naked Communications.

September 2003: Naked Communications experiences a measure of early success when it picks up the SuperNoodles strategic planning business, but it really gets into its stride when it turns out innovative work for 118 118. The agency begins expanding, leading to the appointment, in the autumn of 2003, of Starcom's director, Tracey Darwen, as Naked's managing director.

August 2005: Continued expansion sees Harlow start to focus more on the US. He moves there full time. So, with Wilkins starting to focus on other areas of diversification, the founders begin to feel stretched and decide to take on a new partner - Ivan Pollard.

March 2006: Now the partners decide to install a revamped management team to look after the UK business, promoting Geoff Gray, Jo Pearce and Niku Banaie to form a managing partner triumvirate, with Darwen becoming a global account director. The team is further strengthened in September when Nigel Long, formerly the chief executive of Euro RSCG and Partners, joins as group chief executive.

January 2008: But following a structural review under Long and the new UK managing director, Chris Green, the UK managing partner structure is dissolved and Collin and Pollard return to oversee operations in the London office. Banaie departs, as does Matt Hardisty, Naked's global creative director and its longest-serving employee - he'd joined in 2000.

Fast forward ...

November 2009: Now Harlow tires of the US and convinces Pollard they should swap jobs. Pollard takes Green with him and Long also agrees to cross the Atlantic. With Wilkins announcing that new diversification plans are to be put on hold, he returns to his old role. The London office is once again run by the three founders - Collin, Harlow and Wilkins. They're vindicated when they manage to win back the SuperNoodles account.