- PwC acquired Swedish design agency Pond, which will continue operating as a separate consulting business, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
- Although PwC is a consultancy best known for auditing and tax services, the Pond deal is the most recent in a number of acquisitions for its digital services division, a group that grew from 4,127 employees a year ago to 12,776 at the end of 2016.
- Other recent PwC digital services acquisitions include NSI DMCC, a Dubai cloud computing firm; Everett, U.K. cybersecurity and privacy consultants; and Fluid, a Hong Kong creative agency.
PwC isn’t alone as a management consultancy making inroads into marketing and advertising, and crowding into business territory once the clear domain of traditional agencies. Accenture and Deloitte are two other global consultancies with rapidly growing digital services and marketing businesses.
One reason the marketing space has become interesting to consultancies is that the traditional agency and brand relationship has been in transition recently with a Forrester Research report finding only around half of marketers where happy with their agency partners and more than 60% were open to handing their business to consultancies.
Another reason for the interest is agencies and consultancies have fundamentally different ways of approaching doing business, Michael Farmer, president of Farmer & Company and author of the book "Madison Avenue Manslaughter," previously told Marketing Dive. Agencies are structured around a creative-led structure while consultancies study, analyze and diagnose problems before implementing potential solutions.
In a digital-led marketing world, where complex ecosystems and an abundance of data are the name of the game, brands may find concrete problem-solving more attractive than a more off-the-cuff creative approach.