Accenture is to acquire independent agency Droga5, the most-high profile of its purchases since it began a spree to strengthen its creative capability under the Accenture Interactive marketing banner.

Accenture Interactive, which is positioning itself as an “Experience Agency”, touts an end-to-end marketing offer. “The future of brand building is not just about creating great ideas; it’s about creating great experiences,” said Brian Whipple, global CEO of Accenture Interactive, in a statement. He added that the division of the consulting giant, which turns ten this year, regards this acquisition as a “game-changing milestone”.

“We have bits and pieces of brand creative here in North America, but we didn’t have the best,” Whipple said in comments reported by Fast Company.

Speaking to the New York Times, David Droga, founder and creative chairman of the agency, noted that the deal would take his agency deeper into experience while bringing more creative to Accenture. “People want a lot more accountability but not at the expense of the magic and the emotion, and that’s where I’d like to think our creative and strategy is a value-add and vice versa,” he said.

“You can have the best advertising out there but if the e-commerce is not good or the relationship with the customer and the experience isn’t great, then that’s irrelevant.”

According to the Times, the deal has been brewing for around a year and should go through by the end of May. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, though the press release noted that it was Accenture Interactive’s “biggest acquisition since its founding”.

Accenture Interactive

Read next: Inside the 'experience agency of record': Interview with Accenture's Anatoly Roytman.

The acquisition is by far the most high-profile deal that Accenture Interactive has made, as it adds Droga5’s 500 employees across New York and London offices to its stable.

In the year ending August 2018, Accenture Interactive raked in revenues of $8.5 billion, a 30% year-on-year increase. For its part, Droga5, which last reported revenues in 2017, brought in well over $200m.  

As Fast Company pointed out, rumours surfaced in June of 2018 that alleged Droga5 was casting about for a potential buyer. The agency officially denied the assertion. In February of the same year – just a month before it is said talks with Accenture began – Droga5 confirmed that it had laid off 40 staff members from its New York office, “in order to reshape the business in line with current business demands”, told The Drum, following reports that key clients had scaled back their business with the agency.

“We got to know each other under the most natural of circumstances, which was really working together without any assumptions of anything else,” David Droga told Fast Company, referring to work beginning on some relatively small projects following a failed joint pitch for the 2020 Census account.  

For Accenture, the acquisition follows some criticism that it had failed to make enough creative investment in order to offer the type of scale that the holding companies boast. Droga noted in comments to the Times that for both companies, this deal was not made out of necessity, “this is about opportunity.”

Sourced from Accenture, Fast Company, New York Times, New York Post, The Drum; additional content by WARC staff