An agency CEO whose business was bought by Accenture last year believes consultancy businesses’ interest in acquiring creative agencies shows how undervalued they are.
Accenture bought the UK agency Karmarama last year for an undisclosed sum and its boss, Ben Bilboul, believed similar deals where a good thing for the advertising industry.
“It’s taken Accenture to recognise the value of what we do and place it at the highest level,” Bilboul told UK’s Business Insider.
Bilboul’s comments follow on from the extraordinary news yesterday of Accenture in Australia acquiring famed independent agency The Monkeys. Read B&T’s interview with Monkey’s CEO Mark Green here.
The Karmarama chief said his deal with Accenture allowed the agency to have more strategic conversations over focusing on singular projects.
“The business model of agencies hasn’t really changed,” Bilboul said. “They’re getting less income because more of that budget is being diverted elsewhere.
“Therefore they’re finding it harder to pay for the great talent they have because their model is still based on ‘let’s try and get a juicer retainer for doing everything’ and increasingly they’re being brought in just for a project to kick off the process that is then fulfilled elsewhere.
“I think that we [the ad industry] are slightly selling short the amount of value we can offer to clients,” he said.
Speaking of Accenture’s acquisition of The Monkeys, the company’s Michael Buckley said creative agencies were the ideal foil to the client services already offered by a consultancy firm like Accenture.
“From Accenture’s point of view it’s important that the [advertising ]industry is growing as a whole,” Buckley told B&T. “And I think agencies need to grow in response to their clients’ requests and more importantly of customers these days who have this expectation that their brand provides of their customer experience.
“Our premise is to own the CMO. And what CMOs want is to deliver the best possible experience over every single channel and the reason for that is customers are leaving those brands that aren’t providing that experience at a level that they expect.
“And what The Monkeys bring, that we didn’t have, is the creative agency feel for the ideas, and what we bring is the actual ability to produce and deliver on the idea. And I think as a collective whole being able to say (to clients) we can do that is a differentiator in the marketplace,” Buckley said.