Accenture to buy Droga5 in significant bet on creative agency know-how
- Accenture has agreed to acquire the independent creative agency Droga5, which will become part of its digital marketing services division Accenture Interactive, according to news shared with Marketing Dive. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, Accenture Interactive claims the acquisition will be the largest in its 10-year history.
- Formed in 2006, Droga5 staffs more than 500 employees across offices in New York and London. The shop has frequently earned industry recognition for its work with marketers like Amazon Prime Video, IHOP and HBO's "Game of Thrones," the last of which recently made a surprise cameo in one of Bud Light's Super Bowl ads. Current brand partners with the agency additionally include Chase, Kraft, Hershey and Under Armour.
- David Droga, the agency's founder and namesake, will retain his position as creative chairman following the acquisition, as will Sarah Thompson, Droga5's global CEO, and Bill Scott, its chief executive of U.K. operations. The deal process took about a year's time, The New York Times reported, and is projected to be completed by the end of May.
With the move to purchase Droga5, Accenture is staking a far larger claim in the creative marketing capabilities that traditional Madison Avenue agencies have leveraged as a way to fend off newcomer competitors like Accenture Interactive and retain appeal with brand clients. The deal will not only add an extensive network of agency staff to Accenture Interactive in key markets like New York and London, but will also likely help to build credibility as the consulting group tries to mold itself into a more comprehensive marketing services provider.
"Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of Droga5 cements a renewed emphasis on creativity in marketing that will benefit marketers and all partners," Jay Pattisall, a Forrester analyst, said in emailed comments to Marketing Dive.
Droga5 will bring with it a list of blue chip brand clients for which the agency has recently produced buzzy, award-winning work. The company's also been recognized as an "agency of the year" from both leading trade publishers, such as Adweek and Ad Age, and industry organizations like the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The news is another indication of how consultancies are proving incredibly disruptive to the ad industry, which has previously manifested through their focus on the digital transformation and data marketing services that many agencies have struggled to adapt to. Accenture Interactive has helped to lead the charge on those fronts, steadily snapping up a slew of marketing shops and growing into an $8.5 billion business in an aggressive M&A strategy that mirrors how the major ad holding groups, like WPP, established their footholds in the early days.
However, many of Accenture Interactive's past purchases have targeted smaller, regional agencies, like the Brazilian content marketing firm New Content or the Dutch programmatic specialist Storm Digital. Droga5 is the most high-profile agency deal the consultancy has enacted to date, and comes as a recognition of a need to "raise the bar on our brand creative," Brian Whipple, global CEO of Accenture Interactive, said in a statement. Other Accenture Interactive acquisitions in recent years include Fjord, Kolle Rebbe, Karmarama and and the ad tech shop Adaptly.
- Accenture Accenture Interactive Accelerates its Mission to Reinvent Agency Model by Agreeing to Acquire Creative Agency, Droga5
- The New York Times Accenture Is Buying Droga5, an Ad Agency, Making a Bet on Creativity
- Marketing Dive Accenture among 3 finalists bidding to acquire MDC Partners, Adweek reports
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