The move from the virtual work world to one with hard-wired phones and desks for family photos shouldn't necessarily change the dynamics of Lee Clow's corporate culture with creatives from senior teams to the youngest copywriters and art directors considering themselves "disciples" at play in Mr. Clow's sandbox.
Chuck Bennett, creative director on Taco Bell, describing the shop as "a bit of a cult," says Mr. Clow's creed of breaking rules is instilled in his mind. When faced with challenges, creatives ask, "What would Lee do?" Mr. Bennett says.
The disciples of Clow, at least sometimes, know the answer. Because Mr. Clow loves dogs, Mr. Bennett and his partner Clay Williams developed the Nissan "Joyride" spot. For Taco Bell, "We got a dog in there for Lee," too, says Mr. Bennett.
The devotion to Mr. Clow extends beyond trying to please. Rob Siltanen, whom Mr. Clow himself calls his heir-apparent, has a portfolio easily qualifying him for top creative jobs elsewhere.
"Lee, in many ways, he's like a dad to me," says Mr. Siltanen. "That is something money can't buy."
Still, Mr. Clow also has instilled a work ethic among his disciples that hardly belies the inexpensive flip-flop sandals on his feet. As the office dictum states, "If you don't come in Saturday, don't come in Sunday."