- Deloitte Digital, the digital marketing services arm of the consulting firm Deloitte, has acquired the Dutch marketing agency Pervorm, according to The Drum. Deloitte Digital also shared the news on its Netherlands website. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
- Pervorm, which has worked with brands like Huggies Vietnam, is headquartered in Amsterdam and has an office in Ho Chi Minh City. Formed in 2010, the firm focuses on digital marketing, in-house consulting and data and analytics. Deloitte Digital will leverage the shop's capabilities to strengthen its search, social and programmatic advertising offer to clients, The Drum said.
- The acquisition marks a more significant push by Deloitte Digital into the media business. Green Square's Tony Walford, in an analysis of the Pervorm news in The Drum, noted that previous purchases by the consulting division include Acne, a creative agency; Market Gravity and Brandfirst, which are both focused on design; and CloudinIT, which specializes in cloud services for heavyweights in the space like Amazon and Salesforce. In the U.S., Deloitte also bought the creative agency Heat in 2016.
Deloitte Digital has not made the same amount of noise as one its main rivals, Accenture Interactive, when it comes to marketing-related acquisitions, but the Pervorm deal reinforces the encroaching threat consulting firms collectively pose to the big agencies groups, such as WPP and Publicis. Through acquisitions, Deloitte and its peers are establishing a more global footprint, broader client base and greater expertise in the media and creative fields that traditional advertising shops have long specialized in and continue to wield as a competitive advantage as more clients tap consultancies to assist in other duties, like technology integration and data and analytics.
While Deloitte's activity in the marketing space has been sparser and centered on smaller targets compared to Accenture — which has in recent history acquired more than two dozen agencies, including Droga5 earlier this year — some of the company's purchases have grabbed industry attention. The Swedish shop Acne, for example, works with major local clients like Ikea and H&M. Prior to being acquired, Acne designed a viral campaign for Ikea that used the retailer's signature blue bags to poke fun at high-fashion house Balenciaga.
Deloitte Digital snapping up Pervorm to bolster its media business signals that the consultancy sees an opportunity in a space where many traditional agencies have run into transparency headaches. The Dutch firm's services around in-housing similarly point to an area where more consultancies, including Accenture, are ramping up their efforts to court more brand dollars.
A report published by the Association of National Advertisers last fall found that 78% of surveyed client-side marketers were working on building out some form of an in-house agency. The findings also revealed that brands' in-house teams were taking on greater responsibilities than they had in the past.