Business consultancy firms buying up or into creative agencies – as Accenture did with its recent procurement of The Monkeys – is hardly a new phenomenon and it gives them the “cool cachet” many of them crave.
That’s the view of DDB Sydney managing director Nicole Taylor who believed the consultancies, with their stuffy conservative image, often craved the culture of agencies to impress clients and retain top staff.
“That’s one of the main reasons Accenture bought The Monkeys,” Taylor told B&T, “to get the cool factor.
“I know you’d expect me to say this, but our culture, over say a management consultancy, which can be an accountant’s culture, is distinctive and that means we can attract the sort of talent that the likes of Deloittes or a PWC simply can’t.
“Consultancy firms buying creatives isn’t new, so I’m surprised everyone was so shocked when Accenture bought The Monkeys. Anyway, The Monkeys were always going to be more provocative and different than any another agency, including their sale, and I like that.
“It was always expected they’d sell to one of the big holding companies, and they didn’t, and that’s what shocked everybody,” she said.
Taylor conceded consultancies buying agencies would make Australia’s media/communications landscape more competitive, however, it was a space agencies were already well equipped to play in. “It’s not like agencies need to scramble to play in that space, we’re already playing in it.”
Her comments follow-on from the release of DDB’s recent “Unreasonable Growth” strategy that even Taylor admitted was partly designed to counter moves by consultancies.
“Yes, part of Unreasonable Growth is us thinking about upstream, powerful conversations about growth which we know is every CEO’s and CMO’s chief priority. It will help us get that seat at the able when it comes to [brand’s] bigger issues.
“DDB is at the forefront of creative that’s about feeling not thinking; culture, not categories; and the long term, not the urgent.
“And we’re already having success – creating unreasonable growth in an age of unreason,” she said.