Accenture Interactive acquires ad agency Droga5

08 April 2019 3 min. read
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In its latest push into the creative sector, global consultancy Accenture’s digital arm, Accenture Interactive, has acquired international ad agency Droga5. Droga5 brings with it a bushel of titanic clients such as HBO, Under Armour, Amazon, The New York Times, and Covergirl.

Per the deal, all 500 of the Droga5’s employees, who are spread across offices in London and New York, will become part of Accenture Interactive’s $8.5 billion organization, which specializes in customer experience and marketing services.

Droga5’s leadership will remain in place. “[Founder Brian] Droga will remain in his role as creative chairman of Droga5, Sarah Thompson will continue as global CEO and Bill Scott will remain as UK CEO, working alongside the rest of the agency’s management team,” according to a press release regarding the acquisition.

Brian Whipple and David Droga

It was reported in 2013 that talent agency WME had acquired a 49% stake in Droga5 in a deal valued at $115 million. There is no news of WME’s plans, but rumors swirl of the agency’s exit, most likely through IPO.

“We have bits and pieces of brand creative here in North America, but we didn’t have the best of the best” Brian Whipple, Accenture Interactive CEO, said in an interview with tech publication Fast Company. “David and his team are the best, hands down, and now we’ll be adding that, which will just make our ability to make best-in-class experiences for clients – and communicate them to consumers – an incredible reality.”

The move is undoubtedly as bold as it is aggressive, and comes hot on the heels of two rather major acquisitions, each part of an M&A strategy that has seen Accenture Interactive, the world’s largest digital marketing agency by revenue, close more than 20 deals globally in the past few years. In mid-March, for example, the firm purchased Dutch marketing agency Storm Digital. Then came news of its acquisition of Hjaltelin Stahl, a leading Danish creative agency known for creating unique and consistent cross-media experiences.

Accenture Interactive and Droga5 were each named one of Fast Company’s 2019 Most Innovative Companies in Advertising, the release states. “Accenture was recognized for ‘leading the merger of strategic consulting, ad-tech, and creative work’ while Droga5 was lauded for its offbeat and transformative ad campaigns.” The firm recently made headlines (and social media waves) for its “Game of Thrones”-style Bud Light commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl. 

The deal was announced Wednesday, but terms are not yet disclosed. The acquisition has been ongoing for a year and is expected to close by the end of May, according to The New York Times. Both Droga and Whipple said maintaining Droga5’s culture was of utmost importance, and said there would not be any major staffing or office changes because of the deal.

“Since day one, we have worked hard to push our industry forward and, hopefully, make a positive impact for all,” Droga said in the release. “The world of advertising is changing, and we are excited for this incredible opportunity with a company that will add more dimension to our best ideas and push us beyond our existing ambitions. The proposition we can bring to market with Accenture Interactive will transform the industry.”

Further expanding the firm’s front-end innovation capabilities, and its ability to help clients reinvent themselves with experimentation-led approaches, Accenture in early March revealed it acquired UK-based innovation firm ?What If!