Buying a creative agency may seem unusual for Accenture, known as a serial acquirer of consulting businesses, but it has already taken stakes in digital agencies IMJ Corporation in Japan, AD.Dialeto in Brazil, PacificLink in Asia, US creative shop Chaotic Moon and Swedish digital content business Brightstep.
There have been many well-documented casualties of 'people business' acquisitions, including the fall out from the acquisition of talent management business Kaisen and property consultancy business Drivers Jonas, both by Deloitte. Although Accenture is well known for its digital capabilities and has form, I will watch with interest to see how the Soho media types integrate with the SAP implementers!
It is thought Karmarama could be valued at as much as £50m on the basis it is worth around one-and-a-half times’ annual revenues. If Accenture is confirmed as the buyer of Karmarama, it would be a significant move by a consulting firm into the creative agency sector and would follow Deloitte’s purchase of Heat, a San Francisco-based ad agency, in February. Accenture previously bought Fjord, a London-based design agency, in 2013. All the big consulting firms, including Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG, PwC and EY, have been keen to enter the marketing services industry, chiefly in digital media and data where there is a strong element of measurement and accountability. The acquisition of creative agencies would mark a further incursion into the agency world dominated by the big six advertising holding groups.