Adaptly's London team join Accenture UK as part of US deal

17 December 2018 Consultancy.uk

Global consulting firm Accenture has further grown its sizable Interactive brand with the acquisition of Adaptly. As part of the move, the New York-based digital media company’s offices in London will now join Accenture UK, bolstering Accenture’s Interactive Programmatic Services capability in the process.

The consulting industry’s collective spend on marketing and advertising powered past the $1 billion mark in 2017, with many of the world’s largest consulting firms spending a significant sum on acquisitions in the sector. This was beefed up significantly by Accenture’s huge war chest in particular. Such was the extent of Accenture’s determination to grow its digital design brand, Accenture Interactive, that it was even declared the largest digital marketing and advertising agency by size by AdAge – though this is still something disputed by traditional market incumbents such as WPP.

While Accenture’s spending spree in the sector seems to have slowed in 2018, the firm has closed out the year with yet another deal. Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire New York-headquartered Adaptly, a digital media services company that works with some of the world’s leading brands to manage data-driven campaigns across prominent digital advertising channels and platforms. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, while terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Adaptly's London team join Accenture UK as part of US deal

Founded in 2010, Adaptly partners with leading digital platforms including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Snapchat; its client roster includes Mazda, Prudential and Sprint, among others. It has subsequently grown to employ 150 people, with additional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and London. Upon completion of the acquisition, part of the deal will see Adaptly’s UK wing become part of Accenture UK, joining the firm’s managed services capability – Accenture Interactive Operations. Adaptly’s digital media services will specifically support Accenture Interactive’s ability to activate, optimise and measure media cross-platform and help advertisers drive superior business outcomes.

Commenting on the deal, Nikki Mendonça, President of Accenture Interactive Operations, said, “The addition of Adaptly is a unique opportunity for us to add significant talent and capabilities. This acquisition will help us to further reinvent today’s operating approach by re-engineering the campaign process with data, applied intelligence and digital technologies – resulting in improved ROI and greater transparency for our clients’ digital media omni-channel campaigns.”

Nikhil Sethi, co-founder and CEO of Adaptly, added, “Being a part of Accenture is really exciting as, together, we'll have an amazing opportunity to supercharge our key platform partnerships, drive more transparency and effectiveness for our clients, and enable them to deliver more relevant, high impact experiences. Joining Accenture will also enable us to help world-class brands with their most complex media activation challenges on a truly global scale.”

Accenture drew significant heat when it announced the launch of its Interactive Programmatic Services offering last year, as it is traditionally the fare of advertising firms, while The Wall Street Journal reported The American Association of Advertising Agencies – the agency trade body known as The 4A's – arguing a conflict of interest exists, as Accenture occasionally audits competitors in the space. The firm’s deal for Adaptly suggests that it has no intentions of slowing down in the face of this criticism, however.


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