School Reports 2016: Leagas Delaney


Like its summer party in Brighton, when the chosen restaurant was the victim of a flash flood that forced the agency into hasty alternative arrangements, Leagas Delaney's year had mixed fortunes. Not least with its creative work, which seemed to sometimes match the rollercoaster on Brighton Pier in its ups and downs.

The high was the finely crafted commercial for Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most famous wine, which bore all the hallmarks of an agency commanded by such a creative zealot as Tim Delaney. The low?

Well, the Lil-Lets spot featuring Ferne McCann and Lydia Bright from The Only Way Is Essex discussing a tampon in a nightclub toilet thoroughly deserved its spot in Campaign’s list of the top 2015 turkeys.

It all adds to the enigmatic collective personality of Leagas Delaney. Now in its 28th year, the agency remains an inspiration in the independent sector, where so many have sold out so quickly.

Independence, however, brings challenges, particularly when it comes to proving that household names with significant budgets can be taken on.

Two accounts that arrived at the agency last year – Hamilton Princess, the Bermuda luxury hotel, and School Reviewer, a website reviewing UK schools and colleges – seemed to highlight the difficulty.

Sunny, the loans company, might have brightened the outlook, but the agency failed to make the final shoot-out.

That said, Leagas Delaney continues to enjoy the confidence of Telecom Italia, which chose the agency to spearhead its relaunch.

Perhaps the shop can be taken at its word when claiming to know who it is, what it is good at and why clients come to it.

How the agency rates itself: 7

"We started the year with some iconic work for Glenfiddich and ended with a critically acclaimed Penfolds film narrated by Russell Crowe. Our Lil-Lets campaign exceeded all expectations, taking on a life of its own in social and delivering outstanding business results for the client. With five new-business wins throughout the year, we are looking forward to 2016."

Leagas Delaney
Type of agency Creative
Company ownership Independent
Nielsen billings 2015 £8m
Nielsen billings 2014 £9m
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 27
Accounts won 5 (biggest: Telecom Italia)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 74 (+6%)
Key personnel Tim Delaney, chairman and executive creative director
Margaret Johnson, group chief executive
Remi Rasenberg, managing director
Dan Boyles, operations director
Sian Kelly Guy, digital delivery director

Score key: 9 Outstanding  8 Excellent  7 Good  6 Satisfactory  5 Adequate  4 Below average  3 Poor  2 A year to forget  1 Survival in question

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.