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 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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th May 2018: Accenture continues to put pressure on traditional marketing services providers with a major extension of two existing contracts with clients BMW and Radisson Hotel Group under the heading of global experience development. For BMW and subsidiary brand Mini, Accenture will expand its brief to include creation and delivery of content and features across digital channels in 120 countries, working with the carmaker's inhouse teams, and also offering support services and coaching. The Radisson account is similar, with a brief to to run personalised and targeted digital campaigns and curate "unique, tailored content" across a portfolio of 1,100 hotels in 80 countries.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: Accenture continued its aggressive push into traditional marketing services with a deal to acquire MXM, the integrated marketing and content development division of media group Meredith Corp. The sale continues Meredith's steady consolidation around core properties in the wake of its acquisition of Time Inc. "The acquisition of MXM reflects our commitment to build on our existing capabilities in marketing services by bolstering our data and content offerings," said Accenture Interactive chief Brian Whipple. "The blend of MXM with our current capabilities and robust marketing intelligence platforms will set us apart as a leader to design, build and run the best customer experiences on the planet." No terms were disclosed, but this is arguably Accenture's biggest to-date. MXM employs more than 450 staff. The deal is expected to close by the end of June.
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