In 2015, St Luke's turned 20 and there was more to celebrate than just surviving for that long. The agency’s revenue grew by more than a third and it added 20 staff to its office in Euston.
St Luke’s senior management has been stable throughout the year and the agency has been recruiting across all of its divisions, as well as expanding the brand consultancy arm, which picked up work for Mothercare.
The agency is also building out its production division, which has created ads for Grosvenor Casinos, Shop Direct and Mooncup.
In new business, St Luke’s didn’t perform as well as in 2014, when it featured in the top ten in Campaign’s new-business league. Nevertheless, it began the year well with a double win for the Rank Group’s Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos in March. Then, in April, it won the Budgens creative account after a shoot-out against The Red Brick Road. Losing Sunny, the short-term credit provider, will have been disappointing, particularly as the agency was only appointed in 2014.
Having won a place on the Heineken roster in 2014, St Luke’s produced a memorable print and outdoor campaign for the launch of Strongbow Cloudy Apple featuring a bolt from the sky. Sadly for the shop, the account moved to Adam & Eve/DDB in March 2016 after a pitch. St Luke’s also benefited from an increase in spend from Shop Direct and has been helping Littlewoods transition to a pure-play digital retailer.
While St Luke’s is still far from setting the agenda within the industry, 2015 will be vindication for an agency that burned so brightly in its pomp and which many thought would have burned out altogether by now.
How the agency rates itself: 7
"St Luke’s turned 20 and it was a time for celebration: we romped past the £5 million revenue mark with a 39 per cent increase. We have never grown faster. We added six new clients: Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casinos, Budgens, Spring Chicken, WWV and, for our consultancy division, Mothercare. On the work front, we created a new digital-first brand identity for Very and, for Strongbow Cloudy Apple, we delivered the biggest alcohol launch of the year."
|Type of agency||Brand strategy and creative|
|Nielsen billings 2015||£59m|
|Nielsen billings 2014||£51m|
|Total accounts at year end||14|
|Accounts won||6 (biggest: Mecca)|
|Accounts lost||1 (Sunny)|
|Number of staff||50 (+67%)|
|Key personnel||Neil Henderson, chief executive
Alan Young, executive creative director
Julian Vizard, creative partner
Dan Hulse, managing director and planning partner
Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question
Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.