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.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Accenture continues to add to its collection of acquired agencies, though it recently ruled out a bid for one of the larger groups. In its latest deal, the consultancy agreed to buy international content and CGI production house Mackevision. "This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us," said Accenture's global content practice lead Jamie Posnanski. "Mackevision has a deep roster of highly-relevant creative and technical talent in emergent capabilities, and operates with mature offerings on a global scale. It's rare to find this combination in the market."
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Dec 2017: Accenture added to its increasingly impressive traditional marketing roster with a deal to acquire Ireland's biggest independent Rothco, whose local clients include Tesco and Heineken. It is Accenture's 10th acquisition this year alone. Rothco joins other notable purchases including Karmarama in the UK, Australia's The Monkeys and Germany's SinnerSchrader. Though traditional groups continue to play down the perceived threat from consultancies, Accenture's aggressive empire-building clearly poses a growing challenge for the future.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Nov 2017: In an important reflection of the emergence of management consultancies as challengers in traditional marketing, Accenture won its first high profile multi-market creative account. Fiat Chrysler appointed the consultancy as the lead "global experience" agency for its super-premium Maserati brand, handling multiple briefs including digital strategy, advertising, content and programmatic across the US and Europe as well as other major territories. Several units within Accenture Interactive will work on the account, but the lead will be taken by Karmarama in London. Accenture Interactive's EMEA chief Anatoly Roytman couldn't stop himself from crowing in an interview with AdAge. He called the appointment "a game-changer in the industry. We've arrived. There was no pitch because no other agency could offer this entire, end-to-end scope. It's our first win using everything we have as Accenture Interactive."
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Former Clemenger BBDO creative chief Ant Keogh has joined two other ex-Clems colleagues at the new Melbourne office of Australian creative hot-shop The Monkeys, acquired by Accenture earlier this year. However, local business paper the Australian Financial Review also reported on rumours of a culture clash between the agency and its new owner. Two factors were cited: the first was the Monkeys' controversial ad for Meat & Livestock Commission - an Adbrands Ad of the Week three weeks ago - which portrayed a variety of iconic religious figures sharing a meal. The inclusion of vegetarian god Ganesha apparently eating lamb - "the meat more people can eat" according to the ad - caused considerable upset within the Hindu community, thereby prompting alarm within highly conservative Accenture. The consultancy is also said to be unhappy that The Monkeys have accepted gambling service Crownbet as a client. Separately, Accenture raised its game in the growing challenge to traditional marketing services groups by poaching OMD's EMEA chief Nikki Mendonca to take on a new global role as president of "intelligent marketing operations".
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: An analyst at French investment bank Natixis has identified WPP and Publicis as potential takeover targets because of recent steep falls in their market value. Although he suggests that merger with an existing group is one possibility, a more likely option would be an approach from one of the management consultancies currently pushing into the marketing sector. Accenture, in particular, is a "credible buyer", he wrote in a note to investors. Its market capitalisation of over $90bn is more than five times that of Publicis and almost four times WPP, making any potential deal reasonably affordable.
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