LONDON: As traditional agencies and consultancies continue to compete for business, the advertising industry can expect the disciplines to converge into so-called “cagencies”, according to a top executive at Accenture Interactive.

Anatoly Roytman, managing director of Europe, Africa and Latin America at the global agency network, predicted that there will be many more combinations of agencies and consultancies like his.

In conversation with Campaign’s global head of media, Gideon Spanier, at last week’s Media360 conference, he said: “There will be companies, let’s call them ‘cagencies’ – these are consultancies that are moving rapidly into what used to be the agency space.

“And also agencies are trying to acquire some business consultancy skills as well as tech. Maybe there will be a dozen big entities that will be able to serve big clients, but in addition there will be a huge number of small, but very specialist, creative agencies.

“In this day and age, to be creative, you don’t need the infrastructure of big agency holding companies anymore.”

Accenture Interactive, which Advertising Age recently named as the largest digital network worldwide, has been busy acquiring a series of award-winning agencies, including Australia’s The Monkeys, Wire Stone of the US, the UK’s Karmarama and Ireland’s Rothco, its latest deal completed in February.

When asked about Accenture’s acquisition strategy, Roytman said: “We don’t believe in a holding company model … We believe in finding agencies that have the same beliefs in something bigger than itself.

“For example, Karmarama in London and Rothco in Ireland: we courted each other for a year before [acquisition], not because of the money but because we wanted to make sure they had the same view of the world and the future. That is how we’re going to grow.”

With 22 acquisitions already under its belt, he earlier told the Media360 gathering that Accenture Interactive is “just getting started”.

He also stated that the role of chief marketing officer is also likely to change in the future because clients increasingly need someone who is responsible for the whole customer experience.

On this, he appeared to echo Russell Marsh, managing director of Accenture Digital, who along with other leading practitioners, discussed the role of management consultants and agencies at a session during Advertising Week earlier this year.

“I think the difference is that the management consultants … are very much focused on the business side,” he said. “How do you change the whole business? How do you add value to the whole organisation by removing cost and using that cost that you’ve taken out to then put back into somewhere else to add value?”

For more, including how PwC is at least one management consultancy that prefers to partner with agencies, read WARC’s in-depth report: What is it that consultants offer?

Sourced from Campaign; additional content by WARC staff