Accenture Interactive is to acquire creative agency Droga5.
The deal will see Droga5, which has 500 employees spanning offices in New York and London, become a major part of the management consultancy's marketing and customer experience division.
Though the financial terms weren't disclosed, it's understood the buy marks Accenture Interactive’s biggest acquisition since its founding in 2009.
It's just the latest big play from the consultancy to show clients it can provide them with end-to-end creative solutions, having already snapped up ad agencies like Karmarama in the UK and Kolle Rebbe in Germany. Earlier acquisitions also included design agency Fjord and Irish creative agency Rothco.
Founder David Droga will stay in his role as creative chairman of Droga5, while Sarah Thompson will continue as global chief executive. Bill Scott will remain as UK boss, working alongside the rest of the agency’s management team.
Founded in 2006, Droga5 counts The New York Times, Amazon Prime and Under Armour as clients.
“Since day one, we have worked hard to push our industry forward and, hopefully, make a positive impact for all,” said Droga, calling the news "the start of an exciting new chapter in Droga5’s history."
He added: “The world of advertising is changing, and we are excited for this incredible opportunity with a company that will add more dimension to our best ideas and help push us beyond our existing ambitions. The proposition we can bring to market with Accenture Interactive will transform the industry.”
Brian Whipple, global chief executive of Accenture Interactive, said he was "excited" to work with David Droga and his team of brand strategists and creatives to further his firm's ambition of "improving the full human experience with brands".
He continued: "As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Accenture Interactive, joining forces with Droga5 will be a game-changing milestone for us and the industry as we continue to assemble the right mix of capabilities for the modern-day marketer."
Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearance.
Reaction to the deal
Jay Pattisall, principal analyst at Forrester noted how Accenture Interactive’s technology, data, experience design, commerce and programmatic capabilities, combined with those of Droga will help move the consultancy "one step closer" to providing CMOs with the integrated, scaled marketing solutions they crave.
"Many may interpret this move as another omen for the agencies," he admitted. "However, headlines that obsess on the 'consultancies versus agencies' narrative are missing the point: Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of Droga5 cements a renewed emphasis on creativity in marketing."
Michelle Edelman, executive vice-president and chief strategy officer at indie agency Peter Mayer disagreed, saying she thought it signalled the "death knell" of the kind of daring creativity Droga5 has produced – and that has won in the marketplace.
She continued: "No data engine will ever be able to drive human creativity and ingenuity. That’s why agencies will independently exist outside of consulting firms for a long time to come. Just not this one.
"Thank you Droga5 for all the great work and for showing us that pushing boundaries and flying in the face of the norm is what it means to move culture. It was good while it lasted."