French data, consultancy and digital marketing agency Artefact is launching in the UK, to offer clients what it claims is a genuine alternative to both the traditional agency networks and the likes of Accenture and Deloitte.
The company – which is listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange – brings together 120 UK staff across consultancy, in-house data technology and media activation through a single P&L. Key clients include Hertz, Nissan, Selfridges, Habitat, The White Company and Wyndham Hotels.
In total, Artefact has 1,000 employees operating from 26 offices in 18 countries; around 150 of them are technologists.
The UK division will be led by Tom Cijffers (pictured, middle), the former chief client officer at MediaCom USA and UK MD at Zenith.
Meanwhile, Ashish Sidhra (pictured, left), partner consulting and data, has been recruited to head the consulting and data division in London. Sidhra has previously held senior roles at businesses including Capgemini Consulting, BearingPoint and Telefonica O2. His remit is to develop Artefact’s data science and AI consulting offer for UK-based and global clients.
Artefact global chief activation officer Frédéric Joseph (pictured, right) said: “We bring something new to a market that’s crying out for a fresh approach. While there are businesses emerging that are now starting to challenge conventions, we don’t think anyone else has cracked it as yet.
“We describe ourselves as ‘marketing engineers’ because everything we do starts with technology underpinned by data and AI. In essence we bring an engineering mindset combined with a management consultancy approach to digital marketing.
“The move into the UK provides a strong statement of intent for the next stage in Artefact’s evolution: we want to help the world’s biggest brands achieve their ambitions and shake up the sector in the process. While we already have a strong presence in mainland Europe, we have every intention of becoming the biggest indie in the world.”
Cijffers added: “We’re free of the constraints of the traditional holding groups; we work with a single P&L in complete transparency and trust. We also develop our own tech, with 10% of our annual net income reinvested into R&D. As such, we occupy a strategic middle ground between the networks and the management consultancies, and unlike some of the newer players, we are actually doing all of this now.”
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