NEW YORK: Accenture Interactive is launching a Programmatic Services practice which will add the planning, buying and management of programmatic campaigns to its previous offer of advice on bringing programmatic buying in house.

The enhanced capability is designed to help marketers achieve greater business outcomes, enable cost transparency, regain control and ownership of their data, and design audience-driven campaigns, Accenture said in a statement.

“We are already focused on all the pieces that are related to media placement so it was a natural extension for us to help our clients deliver more hyper-relevant customer experiences through digital media,” explained Brian Whipple, global CEO of Accenture Interactive.

The move, which marks a significant shift in the ongoing battle between consultancies and agencies for clients’ attention and wallets, is apparently one for which media agencies have only themselves to blame.

“We are hearing from our clients regularly that they are just dismayed and they have very serious concerns about the adversarial, non-transparent and antiquated practices of their agencies,” Scott Tieman, the global lead for the new Accenture Interactive unit, told the Wall Street Journal.

“[They] are reacting to the changing media landscape and they want to move beyond the status quo and take back control of their media capability,” he added, as he claimed the Accenture Interactive offer “is highly differentiated in the market and is built on a foundation of trust and transparency”.

He aims to win business with a clear pricing approach, based on charging a full-time equivalent fee, and with no buying of inventory in advance to sell back to clients.

But there is no intention to move beyond this into buying traditional media. “It’s a low-margin thing, it’s not something we’re interested in,” Whipple said.

“If we needed [services like traditional media-buying and planning] for a particular experience, we would just partner with one of the many capable agencies out there.”

Sourced from Accenture, Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff