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Effectiveness Hall of Fame - Andy Nairn

The IPA Effectiveness Hall of Fame honours Andy Nairn, founding partner of Lucky Generals, for his contribution as the 2009 Convenor of Judges and editor of "Advertising Works 18".

Andy has also been the author of many IPA Effectiveness Award-winning papers, including the 2010 Grand Prix winning paper.

Q: Describe the high points and low points of your career in the communications industry to date?

The high point of my career so far has been launching my own agency, Lucky Generals.  Before that, it would have to be winning the 2010 IPA Grand Prix for Hovis and Effectiveness Company of the Year title for MCBD.  My low point would be skulking about on gardening leave.   

Q: In your work, who has had the biggest influence on your communications thinking and practice - and why?

The biggest influence on me as a planner would be the ever-inspirational MT Rainey, for teaching me that strategy can be - indeed must be - creative too. 

Q: What knowledge or skill do you have today that you wish you had possessed when you started out?

I actually wouldn't wish any special powers on my younger self as I think half the fun of our industry is learning as you go along, including from your mistakes.  

Q: What is the single most important change you have seen in the industry since you started? Has it been a change for the better or worse?

The biggest change I've seen has been agencies' disappointing drift downstream. But fortunately, there are encouraging signs that this is now being reversed, as technology allows us to influence all of the Marketing Ps again, not just Promotion.


Andy Nairn studied Law at Edinburgh University, before acquiring an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University. He spent his first nine years in the industry as a planner at AMV.BBDO, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe and Goodby Silverstein and Partners.

He later moved to MCBD, where he was Executive Planning Director. In May 2013, he launched a new agency, Lucky Generals, with Helen Calcraft and Danny Brooke-Taylor.

Andy has won 24 major effectiveness Awards, including the coveted 2005, 2007 and 2010 Grand Prixs at the IPA Effectiveness Awards. He is a member of the IPA Value of Creativity Group and an IPA Fellow (2011).

He has been named by Campaign magazine as the UK’s top planner and one of the top ten planners in the world.

Last updated 25/10/2013

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