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. Accenture said revenues from its Accenture Interactive division for for ye 2020 were $10.6bn. 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 7th Sep 2021: Accenture announced another key acquisition, and its first in Africa. King James Group is one of South Africa's most admired creative shops, and has been until now among the biggest independents in the market. Founding partner James Barty is expected to remain as CEO, working alongside Accenture Interactive's local MD Haydn Townsend. Terms were not disclosed.
Adbrands Daily Update 19th Aug 2021: Traditional marketing services groups should probably be shifting uncomfortably in their seats following the announcement that Brian Whipple is to stand down as CEO of Accenture Interactive in favour of Dave Droga. The founder and leader of Droga5 takes on the role of CEO and creative chairman of Accenture's fast-expanding marketing services division, with a brief to "drive creative excellence, customer experience and business innovation". Although Whipple did indeed spend a little over a decade in the traditional marketing services industry (at Rapp and later Hill Holliday), he was primarily a management consultant. Droga, on the other hand, is a creatively-based ad man through and through. His elevation to the top role at Accenture Interactive is likely to presage a new age of even more aggressive competition for new business against the likes of WPP, Omnicom and Publicis.
Adbrands Daily Update 29th Jul 2021: Italy was the latest pit stop for Accenture's rejuvenated acquisition drive. The group made its first purchase of a local marketing agency with the bolt-on of Openmind, an ecommerce agency specialising in the fashion and luxury sector. Terms were not disclosed.
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Jul 2021: Accenture restarted its acquisition drive with its first significant deal in almost a year. It has agreed to buy MediaMarktSaturn Content Factory, the inhouse marketing subsidiary of the pan-European consumer electronic retailer, for an undisclosed sum. That will give Accenture control of one of Germany's biggest ad accounts. In addition to its operations in Germany, the MediaMarkt and Saturn chain have outlets in 12 other European markets.
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.
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