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Creative Digital Marketing Mergers and Acquisitions

Accenture Interactive acquisitions: all its agency deals so far

By Emma Mulcahy, Staff writer

August 12, 2019 | 12 min read

Since its formation by consultancy giant Accenture in 2009, marketing offshoot Accenture Interactive has been rapidly growing its media, digital and creative credentials by bringing scores of agencies around the world under its wing.

Accenture Interactive, The Monkeys, Karamarama, Droga5 and Rothco logos

Accenture Interactive acquisitions: all its major agency deals so far

Accenture Interactive acquisitions include Karmarama, The Monkeys, Fjord, Rothco and Droga5. In the last six years, the burgeoning marcomms force has made 30 such deals.

This list gives a comprehensive history of Accenture's deal-making so far and is updated with each new buyout.

October 2019: London 'white space' agency Bow & Arrow

Accenture Interactive acquires digital consultancy Bow & Arrow for an undisclosed sum. It makes it the management consultancy's 10th buy-out of an agency in 12 months.

Founded in 2009, London-based Bow & Arrow counts Mini, Spotify, Google and Dixons Carphone among its clients. It says it specialises in “white space” identification, where it finds opportunities for businesses to launch new digital products, services and ventures in emerging market sectors, using its so-called “Crossbow methodology”.

August 2019: design and innovation firm Insitum

Accenture announces it is buying Insitum, a service design and strategic research firm with headquarters in Mexico City and additional studios in Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Lima and São Paulo.

The deal is hailed as strengthening the consultancy's hand in Latin America. "With Insitum, we will boost Accenture Interactive’s reach in the region and improve our Fjord design capability, which is a crucial component of our mission to deliver the best, most meaningful experiences to people," says Eduardo Bicudo, Latam lead at Accenture Interactive.

April 2019: Spanish agency Shackleton

A deal for Spanish brand communications agency Shackleton, Accenture Interactive's second acquisition in as many weeks, is agreed.

The consultancy business has bought the Madrid-based agency for an undisclosed fee, expanding its ability to design, build and run integrated brand experiences for clients in Spain, Europe, Latin America and beyond.

April 2019: Advertising heavyweight Droga5

Accenture Interactive strikes its biggest deal so far with the planned acquisition of New York-based creative powerhouse Droga5. The deal comes despite founder David Droga’s well-documented insistence that his firm would retain its status as a fiercely independent creative agency.

While there have been reports of feelings of trepidation among staff, both parties voice optimism that they can marry their cultures. “I’m confident they are the best partner to grow our business and provide greater opportunities for our clients and our people," says Droga. "Why live off past glories when you can get busy trying to create new ones?”

The deal is expected to close in May 2019, and financial terms have yet to be disclosed.

March 2019: Danish Creative Agency Hjaltelin Stahl

Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of leading Danish creative agency Hjaltelin Stahl signals its further progression into the Nordic communications market. The agency was voted the best agency in Denmark in 2019 for the fourth year running.

“With the addition of Hjaltelin Stahl to Accenture Interactive we significantly strengthen our ability to design, build and run the best customer experiences for our clients in Denmark and beyond," says Christian Dam, managing director of Accenture Interactive for Denmark.

March 2019: Netherlands’ Storm Digital

Storm Digital, a full service digital marketing agency specializing in search, social and programmatic advertising services, joins the Accenture Interactive fold.

December 2018: New York-based adtech company Adaptly

The consultancy outfit strengthens its programmatic proposition by snapping up adtech firm Adaptly. This move allows Accenture access to Adaptly’s offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London, as well as to its client roster including Mazda and Prudential. Accenture says it hopes to use the deal to improve its ability to ‘activate, optimize, and measure media cross-platform’.

December 2018: Brazilian marketing agency New Content

The Sao Paulo-based agency was founded in 2007, and has more than a decade of experience in branded content. Accenture Interactive says it will use New Content’s expertise to strengthen its ability to create and deliver integrated brand experiences for clients in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

November 2018: Germany’s Kolle Rebbe

Kolle Rebbe becomes the third German agency to be acquired by the digital giant.

This digital agency was founded in 1994 and has built its reputation by delivering creative campaigns and digital content for clients including Google, Netflix, Audi, Dazn, Netflix and TUI Cruises.

November 2018: Swedish customer relationship management firm Kaplan

Stockholm-based Kaplan is a provider of data-driven customer relationship management services. Founded in 1987, it specializes in transforming customer experiences through strategic, analytical, technology, and creative solutions.

July 2018: Shanghai-based digital marketing agency HO Communication

Accenture Interactive ventures further into the digital communications sector, and China, with the acquisition of the independent Shanghai-based HO Communication, a full-service digital agency.

Lamy Zhang, chief executive of HO Communication, says of the deal: “We’re excited to start our journey as part of Accenture Interactive – evolving from a company of 200 people across China to one that can leverage global scale and insights and help continue the tremendous momentum that Accenture Interactive has built in creating a new and exciting proposition for our clients and the market overall.”

March 2018: New York-based agency MXM

Accenture Interactive adds to its host of US-based digital agencies with the acquisition of New York's MXM from media conglomerate Meredith. The agency has worked with brands including Barilla, Volkswagen and Kraft Heinz.

January 2018: production house Mackevision

Computer graphics specialist Mackevision, the award winning special effects team behind ‘Game of Thrones’, joins the Accenture Interactive fold. Mackevision was attractive for its arsenal of skills whichinclude 3d visualization, animation and effects.

February 2018: Dublin-based creative agency Rothco

Accenture Interactive completes its acquisition of Rothco, a Dublin-based full-service creative agency. Founded in 1995, Rothco is an award-winning agency and will go on to make the acclaimed JFK Unsilenced campaign for The Times as part of the Accenture business. This acquisition boosts Accenture Ireland’s creative credentials and that of Accenture Interactive as an experience agency across Europe.

October 2017: French digital commerce agency Altima

The march into marcomms continues with a deal for full-service digital commerce business Altima. The agency was founded in 1997 and has locations in France, China, Canada and the United States.

Anatoly Roytman, head of Accenture Interactive Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America, states its importance to digital experiences, claiming that: “Adding Altima’s skills to Accenture Interactive will help in our mission to create the best experiences on the planet for clients.”

September 2017: San Francisco-based design firm, Matter

Matter is a design and innovation firm focused on designing products and experiences for the connected world. The acquisition strengthens design and innovation unit, Fjord, by adding physical product design to its service design and digital product creation capabilities.

August 2017: Data-driven marketing agency Wire Stone

A deal for US-based Wire Stone is announced. Dan Lynch, chief executive of Wire Stone describes the businesses' shared passion for creating meaningful customer experiences: “By bringing our creative and digital marketing talent and expertise together with Accenture Interactive, we are now able to deliver end-to-end solutions for clients utilizing their deep industry expertise and intimate relationships.”

July 2017: Digital optimization company Clearhead

This acquisition is made in a move to strengthen Accenture's personalization services. Matty Wishnow, founder and chief executive of Austin-based Clearhead, says: "Together, we will scale our optimization capabilities and add more value for brands.”

May 2017: The Monkeys and Maud

In one of its most eye-catching deals to date, Accenture Interactive acquires Australia’s most awarded independent creative agency, The Monkeys, and its sister design business, Maud, as it continues its aggressive move into ad land.

Michael Buckley, head of Accenture Interactive Australia and New Zealand, says: “This acquisition further differentiates Accenture Interactive as a new breed of agency providing CMOs with innovative thinking and a new set of connected capabilities to win in today’s experience-led economy.”

June 2017: Boston-based agency Intrepid

Boston-based Intrepid expands Accenture’s capabilities in design, native app development, connected device engineering and web development in North America.

May 2017: E-commerce solutions provider Media Hive

The acquisition is designed to bolster capabilities in Salesforce Commerce Cloud (previously Demandware) implementations. Media Hive was founded in 2003 by Thomas McGee and is based in New Jersey.

April 2017: Belgian communications agency Kunstmaan

Kunstmaan, an independent integrated communications agency, was founded in 1998 and has offices in Leuven and Antwerp and specializes in delivering meaningful customer experiences for high profile Belgian brands.

February 2017: Germany’s SinnerSchrader AG

SinnerSchrader is a full-service digital agency that specializes in developing and implementing digital products, services, and marketing solutions. It has offices across Germany, including studios in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich as well as Prague and Hanover. Its clients include major brands such as Allianz, Audi and BMW. With this acquisition, Accenture takes another major step in expanding its digital agency in Germany.

November 2016: London creative agency Karmarama

The first sign of just how serious Accenture is about taking on the ad industry. Karmarama is one of London’s largest independents with a roster of 250 and clients including the BBC, Just Eat and Unilever. The move stuns the industry and Karmarama chief executive Ben Bilboul says: “We believe this is a genuinely game-changing moment for clients and for our team, who will now have even greater opportunity to work with leading global brands across international markets.”

July 2016: Japanese digital agency IMJ

A majority stake in IMJ, a full-service Japanese digital agency, is sealed. Shinji Takeuchi, chief executive officer of IMJ, proclaims: “Together, IMJ and Accenture will be the leading player in the digital marketing area, helping our clients to realize their business goals and create delightful experiences for their customers.”

August 2015: Brazil's AD.Dialeto

2015's buying spree concludes with another digital acquisition, this time in Brazil. This deal nearly doubles Accenture Interactive's footprint in market, increasing its ability to serve clients throughout Latin America.

July 2015: Texas-based tech studio Chaotic Moon

Austin-based Chaotic Moon is experienced in strategy, digital design, prototyping, and development. The studio is highly regarded for its adventurous style and innovative approach. Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive stated that: “Chaotic Moon is a natural extension of our capabilities and allows us to expand geographically into Austin, with its strong base of designers and engineers."

July 2015: Hong Kong-based digital agencies PacificLink Group

Accenture Interactive expands its repertoire of digital agencies with its acquisition of PacificLink, an independent set of full service digital agencies based in Hong Kong comprising PacificLink iMedia, Pixo Punch, LemonXL, AvantBiz Consulting and DMA Solutions. The move expands the ability of Accenture Interactive to provide digital design, marketing, content and commerce services to the Greater China market.

June 2015: Sweden's Brightstep

The first serious Nordics play as a Swedish digital consulting company Brightstep, specializing in digital content and commerce solutions, is snapped up. The move allows Accenture Interactive to offer more professionals trained in Intershop, hybris software and Adobe to clients.

February 2015: Australia and New Zealand's Reactive Media

Digital agency Reactive comes on board and adds some clout in APAC. "With the acquisition of Reactive we’re bolstering our growing portfolio of digital marketing services in Australia, New Zealand and globally,” says Brian Whipple, senior managing director, Accenture Interactive.

July 2013: Chicago-based e-commerce specialist Acquity Group

A statement of intent in digital commerce. The second-largest independent digital marketing company in the US joins the Accenture Interactive fold. The deal is worth $316m.

May 2013: Design giant Fjord

The London-based global service design consultancy specializes in creating wide-ranging digital experiences and services for consumers. Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive, says: “Accenture and Fjord together will offer a deep blend of skills and expertise to help clients deliver innovative experiences that bridge marketing, commerce and service.”

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