Accenture (US)

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Accenture is a leading global management consultancy, but also increasingly a marketing services provider in its own right. Although it offers business consulting in virtually every sector of industry, the group developed a particular emphasis in the 2000s on assisting clients with the integration of IT services and outsourcing. Far from being damaged by the 2008 economic downturn, Accenture's performance improved as clients rushed to cut costs by outsourcing or improving their internal efficiency. Arguably more marketing-conscious than its competitors, it developed an unusually high profile for its industry through a long-running marketing campaign featuring, until the end of 2009, superstar golfer Tiger Woods. As a result it was one of the first management consultancies to begin itself offering marketing services to its clients. A dedicated marketing sciences unit which aimed to help clients get the maximum effectiveness from their own advertising and media strategy has been expanded through the acquisition of a succession of third party units, including digital agencies Acquity Group and Javelin Group. In 2016, in a first step into full service marketing, it acquired London creative agency Karmarama; followed in 2017 by German digital agency Sinner Schrader, Australian creative shop The Monkeys and Ireland's Rothco; then MXM and others in 2018.

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 13th Dec 2018: Accenture's wide-ranging global acquisition drive continues. Among the latest additions to its Accenture Interactive division is US ad tech platform Adaptly, which allows advertisers to plan and buy space across Facebook, Google and Amazon, and other sites, as well as to optimise creative content for the best impact on a site-by-site basis. The new addition will become part of Accenture's newly launched programmatic media offering. No price was disclosed.

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Nov 2018: Latest addition to Accenture's collection of marketing agencies is the noted German creative shop Kolle Rebbe, perhaps best-known internationally as the global agency for national airline Lufthansa and local custodian of the Audi account. No terms were disclosed; however, a deal has been under consideration for some months, even before the untimely death of owner and CEO Stefan Kolle last year. The creative shop will be partnered within Accenture Interactive Germany by digital agency Sinner Schrader, whose founder Matthias Schrader negotiated the latest acquisition, and now becomes country leader of the combined business in all German-speaking markets. Kolle Rebbe's existing management team will remain following the deal.

Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: The marketing services arm of consultancy Accenture is now around the same size as Interpublic in terms of annual revenues. The group doesn't currently break out figures for Accenture Interactive, the umbrella for its marketing-related operations, which include acquired agencies MXM, Karmarama, The Monkeys, SinnerSchrader and Rothco. However, in its 4Q results announcement, Accenture said that division's revenues were up "well north of 20%" year-on-year. That would put the figure at around $7.8bn for the year to August. Accenture's total net revenues rose 14% to $39.6bn, while net income was up 10% to $4.1bn.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th July 2018: In recent months, traditional agencies have suffered a continuing leak of executives to fast-expanding consultancies. This week sees a move in the opposite direction. Christine Removille, one of the founders of Accenture's marketing services division in Europe, is named as the new global president of the Carat media network.

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: Industry bodies in the US and the UK voiced their displeasure with the recently announced move by consultancy Accenture into programmatic media buying, citing a clear conflict of interest, since Accenture also acts as an auditor of the relationships between clients and traditional agencies. "As well as compromising impartiality, no business can legitimately offer competing media services to a market where it has a media auditor’s access to confidential client and agency media data and financial information," said IPA chairman Paul Bainsfair. "In an era where transparency is under the spotlight, this self-evident conflict of interest is unacceptable." The US AAAA - or 4A's - was similarly outraged. "We find this unacceptable and are concerned about whether Accenture will be transparent in ensuring that the massive amount of information it has collected from agencies - both as auditor as well as via the agency review process - is not leveraged for the benefit of its new practice." It urged all agencies "to think critically about whether they will continue participating in any review that Accenture is leading and determine if they will allow Accenture to continue auditing their media." 

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th May 2018: More aggressive expansion this week from Accenture, which added to its agency portfolio with the acquisition of Chinese digital marketing agency HO Communication and also formally launched its own inhouse digital media consultancy. This will work in tandem with the inhouse teams at client advertisers to manage programmatic media strategy, planning and buying.

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