BACKSTORY: Grey Africa’s Fran Luckin
We question chief creative officer at Grey Africa Fran Luckin
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Empathy. John Hunt always said: "No-one ever bought anything from someone they didn’t like." Make sure you’ve listened to the client and you’re bringing them a solution that’s all about them and what they need, not about showing how clever you are.
What was your first job?
I was apprentice copywriter at The Jupiter Drawing Room.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
I was paid R2,500. The first thing I did was take out a retirement annuity. No-one could ever accuse me of being too free-spirited.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
I’m afraid I probably wouldn’t have listened. I miss the days when I knew everything.
What does SA need to do to get itself back on its feet post-lockdown?
There’s no quick fix. We don’t need grand speeches and charismatic leaders now. We need competent administrators. We need to increase investor confidence by showing that we’re serious about rooting out corruption. Democratising digital access would make a huge difference, as would opening up to alternative energy.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I once patted Roger Moore’s buttocks. Actually, everyone knows that one because I always tell it at dinner parties.
What is your biggest regret?
Regret is a waste of time, I think. Every mistake teaches you something.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
I wish I’d moved money offshore before the rand/sterling exchange rate hit R20/£.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
That I took up the bass guitar at the age of 45 and it turns out that I don’t completely suck at it.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career?
Actually, no. The great thing about advertising is the wide variety of industries it exposes you to. My career has also coincided with the rise of the internet and digital technology. The resultant upheaval, which shows no signs of abating, has ensured a lifetime of learning and meant there hasn’t been a dull moment.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do tomorrow?
I’m profoundly glad I’m not him. I’ve always said being president must be the worst job in the world.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.