- Accenture Interactive is buying the Hamburg, Germany-based creative agency Kolle Rebbe, according to an announcement from the digital marketing services arm of Accenture. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and the acquisition is subject to pending regulatory approval.
- The digital-first Kolle Rebbe, founded in 1994, has earned recognition in Germany in recent years for buzzy campaigns for major brands, including Google's "Life is a Search," Lufthansa's "#SayYesToTheWorld," Audi's "Next Level Luxury" and efforts around Netflix programs like "Narcos."
- Kolle Rebbe will support Accenture Interactive's development and rollout of integrated brand experiences in both Germany and "other geographies," per the announcement. Its clients include Audi, DAZN, Netflix and TUI Cruises. The firm is Germany's seventh-largest independent agency by revenue, according to the trade publication W&V, and has about 300 staffers based in its Hamburg headquarters.
Accenture has been on a hot streak of snapping up agencies over the past several years — the news marks its third acquisition in Germany alone since 2017 — but more recent developments show how the consultancy is pushing harder to broaden its creative capabilities on the global stage.
Last month, Accenture announced plans to acquire the São Paulo, Brazil-based firm New Content to help clients in the Latin America region produce marketing content at scale with greater efficiency. Kolle Rebbe gives Accenture Interactive a stronger foothold in some key European markets and supports other recent purchases in Germany, such as the 3D visualization and immersive content maker Mackevision.
Management consultancies like Accenture, Deloitte and IBM iX have become more competitive with traditional Madison Avenue agencies as the industry has accelerated its focus on data and analytics. Brands have, in turn, sought partners with more capabilities in those areas. Traditional agencies have continued to hold an advantage in branding and creative duties, helping to make up for their often slow adaptation to digital disruption. Accenture's aggressive approach to M&A, which in some ways mirrors how the massive agency conglomerates like WPP originally came to be, signals how the consultancy is trying to fill in that gap and more closely blend its technology offerings with traditional marketing services.
It's a strategy that appears to be paying off at a time when the large agency conglomerates are mostly underperforming. Discussing earnings in September, Accenture executives reportedly said the company's "new" business category, which includes Accenture Interactive, had grown more than 20% over the past year.