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 and improving their internal efficiency. More marketing-conscious than its competitors, Accenture 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. The first step was the creation of a dedicated marketing sciences unit to help clients audit the performance of third party advertising and media partners. However, this was later expanded through the acquisition of a succession of actual agencies, initially in the digital sector but increasingly in traditional advertising and marketing. The first step into full service marketing came with the acquisition of London creative agency Karmarama. A succession of other deals have followed including German digital agency Sinner Schrader, Australian creative shop The Monkeys and Ireland's Rothco; then MXM and Kolle Rebbe and others in 2018. Accenture's most prestigious deal to-date was the purchase of admired agency Droga5 in early 2019. Though there were unconfirmed rumours of discontent within some acquired agencies, Accenture's buying spree has continued, putting the consultancy in increasingly direct competition with traditional marketing services groups. Many observers predict that it will ultimately launch a bid to acquire one of those groups to further strengthen its offering. It finally shuttered its original media auditing division in 2020 because of the conflict of interest cited by rival agencies. Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme, who led the push into marketing, died in 2019. His successor is Julie Sweet, previously head of Accenture North America. David Rowland is executive chairman. Brian Whipple is CEO of Accenture Interactive, which is the umbrella for the group's marketing services business. Net revenues for the year to Aug 2020 were $44.3bn, with net income of almost $5.2bn. Borth were best-ever figures. Outsourcing still accounts for 45% of revenues. The group doesn't break out the contribution from marketing services, but Accenture said those revenues for ye 2019 were $10.3bn. That makes Accenture the 5th biggest global marketing services provider by revenues after WPP, Omnicom and Publicis.
Capsule checked 17th December 2020
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Account assignments & selected contact information for Accenture
Marketing assignments & selected contact information for Accenture Interactive agencies
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Who are the competitors of Accenture? Accenture's main competitors in IT consulting and outsourcing include IBM and HP. Competitors in business consulting include PwC, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. Competitors in marketing services include WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Interpublic and Dentsu. See Business Services Sector index for other companies
Historical profile information for Accenture
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Aug 2020: Accenture's acquisition spree has slowed somewhat since the addition of Droga5 last year. (Has the time been spent in talks with one of the larger marketing groups?) However there are signs of renewed activity again now. Latest addition to the portfolio is the global content creation and production studio CreativeDrive. Headquartered in New York, it has ten offices across the US as well as outposts in Brazil, China, the UK, South Africa and Australia. The business employs around 700 staffers worldwide. No terms were disclosed.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Nov 2019: Accenture Interactive won what is arguably its first major creative win under its own banner, as opposed to through its subsidiary agencies. A team from Accenture and Droga5 was awarded creative in the US and the EMEA region for Kimberly-Clark's baby and childcare products, including Huggies, Pull-Ups and Goodnites diapers. WPP's Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson agencies will retain the business in Canada and Asia Pacific. A decision has yet to be reached on Latin America. Kimberly-Clark said the decision had been clinched by the compelling combination of Droga5's creative skills and Accenture's specialised technology tools. "We would not have been able to do this without [Droga5]," said Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple, "and I don't think they would have been able to do this without being part of Accenture Interactive."
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Oct 2019: "Goth Life / Morning Tremens". It's one of everybody's biggest dreads: being stuck in a metro train carriage with people you can't stand. Danish creative shop Hjaltelin Stahl - a recent addition to Accenture's global agency portfolio - devised these two brilliantly funny, but also nightmarish, visions of just such an encounter. Frankly you don't have to be a goth or nursing the hangover from hell to want to avoid these fellow travellers. On Copenhagen's new Cityringen Metro service, at least you won't be stuck with them for too long.
Adbrands Daily Update 30th Sep 2019: According to its results for the year to Aug 2019, Accenture has suprassed Interpublic to become the world's 4th biggest marketing services provider after WPP, Omnicom and Publicis. Group CEO Julie Sweet told investors that revenues from the Accenture Interactive division were "over $10bn", accounting for almost a quarter of the group's combined topline of $43.2bn.
Adbrands Daily Update 25th Apr 2019: In an embarrassing development that will bring secret joy to many traditional marketing agencies, Accenture is being sued by former client Hertz for breach of contract in connection with the redesign and relaunch of the website and mobile apps for Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty between 2016 and 2018. Hertz says Accenture "failed to deliver a viable product", and that the work it did perform was "seriously deficient in multiple respects", not least in that the customer-facing front end of the site contained security vulnerabilities and performance problems. Hertz is demanding the reimbursement of $32m in fees paid to the consultancy.
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