King of the Agency: Dave goes from work experience to boss in just 10 years


 A CREATIVE expert has taken the reins at a Scottish agency where he started his career after winning a work experience placement.

A decade after that first opportunity with StudioLR in Edinburgh, Dave King has now risen through the ranks and been appointed  Head of Strategy and Creative and will lead the 10-strong team in tandem with original co-founder, Andy Gray.

Dave King went from work experience to agency boss - Business news
Dave King with his award winning degree show at Napier which won him a work placement at StudioLR

The restructure also marks a major shift for the agency, which is refocusing to specialise on working with challenger brands.

Head of Business, Andy said: “We sponsored the Graduate Prize for Graphic Design at Napier University and the winner earned a short placement with us.

“From the moment Dave walked in the door for his placement it was clear there was something special about him. We’ve supported his development with us for 10 years and so now it’s the natural step for Dave to move into this senior leadership role.”

Andy Gray and Dave King of StudioLR in Edinburgh - business news
Dave King (right) toasts his success with StudioLR co-founder, Andy Gray.

Since being formed by Andy and Lucy Richards in 2004, StudioLR has become a renowned player in the Scottish creative sector winning multiple awards ­– currently it is the Marketing Society Scotland’s SME Agency of the Year.

Lucy, who is now Chair of the agency, added “Having Dave on the team is like a football team having Ronaldo ­­– he’s driven about making himself and StudioLR famous.

“Dave’s a sought-after circuit-speaker on creative bravery, not only across the UK but internationally, which is also why it makes sense for us to us to align our work around his passion and strengths.”

StudioLR works on a portfolio of clients including Volvo, Jura Whisky, Seafish, Fettercairn Whisky and major recruitment specialist, Sanderson. With a turnover consistently around £800,000, the restructured agency is now aiming to double in size within five years.

Andy is clear that strong business practice – as well as bravery in creativity – will still be at the heart of StudioLR. His pragmatism is a vital part of the new dual leadership role, offsetting the more unique talents of King.

From work experience to boss for Dave King at StudioLR - business news
Dave King (left) with StudioLR original co-founder Andy Gray

Dave King, who is a regular conference speaker on brave creative work and created D&AD’s Bravery Masterclass which he delivers worldwide to some of the world’s best agencies and in-house teams says he is thrilled with his new role at StudioLR and with the direction the agency is taking.

He said: “We’re carving a reputation in helping ambitious brands to adopt stop-you-in-your-tracks creative that really helps them stand out from the competition.

“Scary times can also be exciting times. Clients we work with can expect big, bold, attention-seeking ideas that get them noticed and remembered.”

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