Accenture Interactive, the agency division of the global management consulting firm, said Wednesday it will acquire independent creative agency Droga5.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Accenture Interactive claims Droga5 is its largest agency acquisition to date. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, Accenture Interactive said in a press release.
Droga5, launched in 2006 by David Droga, is a highly acclaimed creative agency famous for its work on blue chip brands like Under Armour and The New York Times. The agency has 500 employees in offices in New York and London and last reported revenue of over $200 million in 2017.
Under CEO Brian Whipple, a former Publicis Groupe and Omnicom vet, Accenture Interactive has been snapping up creative agencies and design firms across the globe including Fjord, Karmarama and The Monkeys. Last year, its revenue grew by 30% to $8.5 billion.
“Droga5’s reputation speaks for itself,” said Glen Hartman, managing director for Accenture Interactive in North America. “Big brand and creative ideas are an essential component of creating end-to-end experiences. This was a deliberate move to go after the best brand talent in the world.”
Accenture Interactive, which does not go to market as a holding company but rather one agency, will operate Droga5 under the Accenture Interactive brand. Droga5 will continue working with its current clients while bringing its branding and creative work to Accenture Interactive’s clients.
Accenture Interactive will be careful to preserve the culture at Droga5, which has been operating independently for a decade. Fjord, for instance, grew from nine to 29 studios around the globe while retaining its culture and senior leadership, Hartman said.
“Assimilation is not the goal,” he said. “It’s to bolster, celebrate and scale what they do, not change what they do.”
The acquisition puts Accenture Interactive even more squarely in competition with agency holding companies, which are facing competition from consulting firms as clients seek more technical and data expertise and spend less on traditional advertising. Droga5 gives Accenture Interactive the creative firepower to go toe to toe with agencies for major branding accounts.
But Hartman claimed Accenture isn’t trying to compete with agency holding companies. Rather, it wants to create an entirely new type of services organization.
“Our clients are asking for a service provider who can talk about brand and creative and as it relates to experience,” Hartman said. “Our aspiration has never been to be the type of traditional agencies that exist in holding companies.”