Much admired during the 1990s, creative agency Leagas Delaney has maintained a considerably lower profile in recent years. Attempts to build a wider global role through merger with Canadian marketing services group Envoy were compromised by post-2000 market turmoil. Instead the agency developed a modest international network of its own with the intention of staying independent. So it has remained, with the support of a small collection of multinational clients, several of them in the luxury sector. The path has not always been smooth but the business continues to maintain an impressive international presence. There are offices in Hamburg, Shanghai, Milan and Los Angeles in addition to its base in London. Leagas Delaney was originally established in 1980, a spin-off from what was then the UK office of American giant BBDO. Though it has always retained the Leagas name in its title, co-founder Ron Leagas has had nothing to do with the agency for almost 35 years. He departed in 1986, shortly before partner Tim Delaney agreed to sell control of the business to Abbott Mead Vickers. He bought back those shares in 1998 and remains group chairman and executive creative director, as well as the company's biggest shareholder with around 70% of equity. (The Delaney family have fingers in several advertising pies. Brother Greg was one of the founders of what is now MullenLowe London; another brother, Simon, is a noted commercials director). Margaret Johnston is group chief executive, and owns the remaining 30% of the equity. Filed accounts for 2018 showed turnover of £25.7m, gross profit of £14.8m and net profit of £323k. Only around a quarter of turnover comes from UK clients. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated UK billings of £12m.
Capsule checked 18th December 2020
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