- Deloitte Digital, the marketing and advertising services division of the global consultancy Deloitte, has acquired Swedish creative agency Acne as it expands its reach through Northwest Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal. Financial terms of the deal, which finalized Aug. 15, were not disclosed to the publication.
- Acne, founded in 1996, has worked with clients including Spotify, H&M and Ikea, the last of which it recently ran a viral campaign for after luxury brand Balenciaga sold a $2,145 homage to the retailer's 99-cent blue bag. Along with the Acne pick up, Deloitte has made a number of recent creative acquisitions, snapping up the U.K.-based design firm Market this May, U.S.-based creative agency Heat in February 2016 and Swedish digital agency Mobiento in 2015, the Journal said.
- Deloitte Digital was also selected by Chipotle Mexican Grill to redesign its mobile app and transform its mobile user experience, according to a Deloitte press release. A revamped mobile experience is part of the Mexican fast-casual chain's strategy to drive digital growth and includes fresh faces for its ordering website and online catering, along with new out-of-store payment options, "smarter pickup times" and an integrated marketing campaign to promote the effort.
Deloitte is one of a number of consultancies expanding digital marketing services divisions and taking on roles that were once the sole domain of traditional agencies. PwC, IBM's iX arm and Accenture Interactive, along with Deloitte, have been snapping up more and bigger-name marketing clients as issues like non-transparency continue to plague agencies. Bombshell findings the ANA published last year exposed a number of opaque business practices in the agency space including rebates clients were not privy too, and another report released just two weeks ago unveiled widespread non-transparent ad production bidding.
Amid this rocky news for agencies, Accenture has had an especially active acquisition strategy, adding a number of pieces to its creative, content analytics, e-commerce and digital data business. The Journal report underscores how Deloitte isn't far behind.
The Chipotle news is also indicative of brands' growing trust in the ability for consultancies to aptly handle digital and mobile transformations — an area where traditional agencies have often taken a backseat to more boutique shops and ultimately fallen behind. Those same boutiques are now reaping the benefits, as consultancies are more often buying them up to bolster their own expertise.