- Accenture has acquired U.S.-based creative marketing agency Wire Stone to bolster data-driven creative and design capabilities and to create end-to-end digital customer experiences for its Accenture Interactive arm, per a company news release.
- Wire Stone focuses on creating integrated campaigns and immersive experiences that build brand stories, the release said. Its services include brand positioning; customer research and data-driven insights; marketing strategy, execution and promotions; creative design; and technology enablement for digital experiences.
- Wire Stone's almost 200 U.S. employees will help scale Accenture Interactive's North American talent.
The Wire Stone deal points to marketing service providers' growing interest in designing campaigns that focus on richer, more immersive experiences that go beyond traditional ads to spark consumer interest and round out the end-to-end customer journey. The acquisition also marks Accenture Interactive's fourteenth in the last five years as it continues to build out a comprehensive digital marketing and advertising business that directly competes with legacy agency holding companies like WPP and Publicis.
Last week, Accenture announced it had acquired Search Technologies, a content analytics and search firm, as well as the marketing and sales consultancy Brand Learning. News of those deals came at the same time the company was greatly expanding its New York City Innovation Hub, serving an additional 3,000 employees. It bought the digital optimization company Clearhead last month, and e-commerce solution provider Media Hive in May.
While consultancy shops like Accenture often have rich technology and data services backgrounds, their deepening of creative specialization will only make them more appealing to brands, which are growing increasingly frustrated with more traditional agencies. Agencies in recent years have weathered a steady barrage of criticisms for failure to achieve digital transformation along with engaging in opaque business practices. The latter issue was under the spotlight again yesterday after the Association of National Advertisers published a report that found non-transparent ad production bidding is a widespread problem in the agency space — and one that's costly to clients.