After getting a Formal First in English from Oxford University, Steve’s career has all been downhill. He made the disastrous decision to get into advertising, where he’s unfortunately spent most of his working life.
After 6 years working for other people, and not really liking that, he co-launched his own agency HHCL, which in its 15 year life won Campaign Agency of the Year three times and was also voted Campaign’s Agency of the Decade.
He has also worked as Executive Creative Director at TBWA/London, and as non-exec Creative Director at Albion 2009 -2011; in both 2010 and 2011, Albion was shortlisted for Campaign’s Digital Agency of the Year.
In his career, Steve has won most of the major global creative awards, including the D&AD Gold Pencil and the Grand Prix at Cannes.
He has spoken at over 100 major advertising conferences all around the world.
In 2004, shortly after his philanthropic gene really kicked in, Steve wrote the copy for a book called “Change the World for a Fiver”. The book sold over a million copies worldwide.
In 2008, he was included in Campaign Magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame, a collection of the 40 most influential people in British advertising over the last 50 years.
In 2016, he was given the D&AD President’s Award for his Outstanding Achievements in Advertising.
In 2010, Steve set up another game-changing company - Decoded, which launched with the promise to teach people “code in a day”. He launched it precisely because he wasn’t a techie, but felt like he was missing out on something that looked like it could be both important and fun. Since then, they’ve expanded in many different areas, with a remit to help bring human beings and technology together – not just to make companies more efficient, but also to make the world a better place. The company was voted one of the 10 most innovative companies in the country in 2012. They’ve trained tens of thousands of people in over 60 countries around the world and now have offices in London, New York, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Steve currently splits his time between two ambitions. Firstly, trying to spread the word on Marketing activism, using ad budgets to tackle real problems in the world – but bringing creativity to an area that can all too easily be dull and preachy. He co-runs a crowd-sourcing website called Alternative Genius dedicated to this. And secondly, working with Decoded on its mission to bring not just tech skills but the mindset and behaviours of the tech world (flatter structures, rapid prototyping, social concern) to businesses in every different sector.