Steve Stretton steps aside at AIS

stretSteve Stretton is to take a back seat at AIS London, the agency he co-founded with Stuart Archibald and John Ingall back in 1998, to become non-executive chairman.
Unlike Archibald and Ingall, Stretton will remain on the pay roll, and continue to work on projects and new business.
Stretton has been winding down his day-to-day involvement of late, following an agency restructure which he implemented. The management team of Sarah Stratford, managing partner, strategy; Geoff Gower, managing partner, creative, and Stephen Watford, managing partner, commercial, will take the agency on.
He said: “Sarah, Geoff and Steve have settled into the task of taking AIS London forward extremely well, and the last 18 months is testament to that. And this year’s early success has shown that we are heading in the right direction and it is very exciting to still be part of it.”
Stretton started his career as an art director at BBH’s direct marketing agency, Limbo, in the mid-Eighties under then creative director Mike Cavers. In 1987 he joined Evans Hunt Scott, now Havas EHS, where he first met Ingall and Archibald.
The trio went their separate ways but came together again in 1998 to launch Archibald Ingall Stretton. The agency grew expontentially, fuelled by the capture of the O2 DM account, but retained its reputation for creative thinking.
Initially Havas had a minority stake in the business but increased its shareholding to take full control in 2008. The move triggered an overseas expansion strategy, spearheaded by Archibald, which saw the agency set up offices in Spain and New York.
Ingall was the first partner to leave, in 2010, and quit agency life altogether. Archibald followed at the tail end of 2011, recently launching another agency in his native Australia, Archibald Williams.

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