Lucky Generals (UK)

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Lucky Generals is the London-based creative agency founded in 2013 by three former directors of MCBD following its ill-fated absorption into digital shop Dare. It has been something of a critical darling in industry circles ever since its launch - CEO Helen Calcraft is one of London's best known and most widely liked ad executives - yet Lucky Generals' performance has in reality only recently begun to live up to expectations, with a number of small but significant new business wins during 2016, accompanied by generally solid creative output. Revenues for 2016 were around £4m. Calcraft is supported by fellow MCBD-ers Andy Nairn (planning partner) and Danny Brooke-Taylor (creative partner). The trio jointly own the business. The agency's name comes from a saying attributed to the Emperor Napoleon, who wanted not brilliant generals for his army but lucky ones. In early 2017, Omnicom acquired a majority stake in the agency, which will now operate as a standalone unit within the TBWA UK Group. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 21st December 2016

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Feb 2017: After several weeks of rumour and speculation, Omnicom's TBWA network confirmed the acquisition of a majority shareholding in London creative agency Lucky Generals for an undisclosed price. That agency will not be combined with the existing TBWA London unit, but will co-exist as a separate entity under its own brand and management team within the wider TBWA UK Group. Nor are Lucky Generals partners Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor expected at this point to take on any direct management responsibility for TBWA London, despite the simultaneous departure of its chief executive Richard Stainer and chief strategy officer Amelia Torode. According to Campaign, the Lucky Generals partners will assist TBWA worldwide CEO Troy Ruhanen in his search for a new leadership team.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2017: Omnicom was reported to be in talks to acquire a stake in highly regarded London independent Lucky Generals, initially with a view to boosting the profile of the under-performing local outpost of TBWA. Despite a succession of different managers, TBWA London has struggled for years to recapture the glory it enjoyed in the late 1990s and early 2000s under creative director Trevor Beattie and chief executive Andrew McGuinness. Omnicom is no doubt hoping to replicate the successful merger of DDB London and Adam & Eve. That trick has already worked in Germany where TBWA's local outpost was re-invigorated by the management team behind creative hotshop Heimat. Lucky Generals' three founders Danny Brooke-Taylor, Helen Calcraft and Andy Nairn might be able to work similar magic at TBWA London. However, a merger with TBWA was later ruled out on grounds that the Lucky Generals trio wanted to expand and develop their own brand. No deal has yet been finalised.

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