Consultancy giant Accenture has beaten off its rivals – as well as WPP, Publicis, Omnicom, and Havas – to boost its agency credentials with the acquisition of Karmarama for an undisclosed sum.
The move comes on the back of a slew of deals which have seen management consultancies encroach on the marketing sector: Deloitte recently bought its eleventh agency, San Francisco’s Heat, and IBM snapped up Resource/Ammirati, one of the biggest independent digital shops in the US.
Meanwhile, KPMG has been making major strides in the data industry, EY owns digital consultancy Seren and PwC owns online analytics firm Logan Tod.
Through Accenture Interactive, the firm has been building its own portfolio of digital agencies around the world, including global design company Fjord, Japanese agency IMJ Corporation, Brazilian shop AD Dialeto, US creative studio Chaotic Moon, Swedish agency Brightstep and Pacific Link, a set of independent digital agencies serving Hong Kong and Greater China.
Karmarama, becomes its first UK acquisition. Founded in 2000, the company boasts strong data and direct marketing credentials, having bought Crayon in 2012 a year after it received backing from Phoenix Equity Partners.
Last year it struck a deal with Ignition, set up by the co-founders of Partners Andrews Aldridge’s data arm, Fuel, which came part of Karma’s Konnect business. Data insight business Crayon CI continues to operate as a separate entity.
Karmarama’s management team of executive chairman Jon Wilkins, chief executive officer Ben Bilboul, chief strategy officer Sid McGrath, and chief creative officer Nik Studzinski will continue in their current roles and take on additional Accenture Interactive leadership positions to drive brand strategy and creativity in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
Bilboul said: “As part of Accenture Interactive, we will dramatically enhance our ability to offer best-in-class creativity and digital delivery. We look forward to extending our creative ideas across the entire customer experience, offering clients consistent and connected creativity. 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.”
Head of Accenture Interactive Brian Whipple added: “Acquiring a creative agency in London, where some of the world’s most iconic creative work is produced, will help us reshape how brands imagine, create, and deliver customer experiences.
“Karmarama will become part of the world’s largest digital agency, expanding our global capabilities across experience, marketing, content and commerce with excellence in creative and mobile. This will contribute to further differentiate Accenture Interactive as a new breed of agency – experience architects – which helps brands connect disconnected experiences and shares accountability with clients for their business outcomes.”
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