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Leagas Delaney swims upstream as it strikes digital deal with top consultancy Booz & Company

Leagas Delaney, the British-based advertising network has formed an alliance with Booz & Company, one of the world’s leading strategic management consultancies, to help companies understand and capitalize on the disruptive effects of digital technologies.

Leagas Delaney chairman and founder Tim Delaney (left) says: “Our combined model with Booz Digital will bring CEOs and CMOs the confidence that their vision for transforming their business can actually be realized because we understand the accelerated change that consumers’ digital demands create.”

Booz Digital managing director Jeff Schumacher (left) says: “By collaborating with Leagas Delaney, we’re bringing brand and communications expertise to our fully integrated mix of solutions. Leagas Delaney understands the essence of a brand and how to translate that into a powerful asset in aligning the business with digital opportunity. This alliance strengthens our ability to provide everything our clients need in one place.”

The partnership is a coup for Leagas Delaney as many ad agencies feel excluded from the client ‘top table’ with their place taken by management consultants. The latter don’t come much more blue chip than Booz, which can claim to be the daddy of the sector, having been founded by Edwin Booz in Chicago way back in 1914.

It became one of the biggest in the world before being acquired as Booz Allen Hamilton by Carlye Group in 2008. The company then split with Booz Allen (as it’s now called) becoming an adviser to the US government and defence establishment (National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden worked there briefly) while Booz & Company, Leagas Delaney’s new partner, inherited the international management consulting business. It currently employs more than 3000 people in 58 offices around the world.

Even the CEOs of the biggest companies would probably admit that digital is the stuff of nightmares in the sense that nobody knows what’s coming next or how consumers will react. Retail and media are just two huge industries to have have been transformed by digital, not always in a good way from a profit point of view.

Management consultants’ speciality is creating more efficient and responsive organisations (Booz claims to have invented ‘supply chain management’ among other concepts) but understanding consumers and devising and implementing ways to reach them is not their strength.

Leagas Delaney was founded in 1980 and numbers Patek Philippe, Timberland and Glenfiddich among its global clients. Its network is based on a strong European base in the UK and Germany with outposts in Shanghai and Los Angeles. The deal with Booz was struck in San Francisco.

Chairman Delaney says the new partnership means clients will be able to access “analysis, prognosis and expression” in the same place, for the first time.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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