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Accenture continues agency land grab with Germany’s €100m SinnerSchrader

Accenture is to buy one of the Germany’s biggest digital agencies SinnerSchrader, based in Hamburg. Accenture has bought 62 per cent from CEO Matthias Schrader and others and will bid €9 a share for the remainder, valuing SinnerSchrader (below) at just over €100m, probably more than it paid recently for UK creative agency Karmarama.

Accenture Interactive’s aim, according to boss Brian Whipple, is to “further differentiate Accenture Interactive as a new breed of agency – experience architects – which helps brands connect disconnected experiences and shares accountability with clients for their business outcomes.”

Just the kind of agency adam&eveDDB co-founder David Golding described in an interesting recent article in Campaign when he referred to the division in agency land between agencies like his – which dealt in big transforming creative ideas, “culture” as he described it – and others which helped clients along the so-called “customer journey” with content or “collateral,” designed to flesh out a media plan. He suggested that consultancy-owned agencies might prove to be better at the latter than marcoms-owned outfits, thanks to the consultancies’ data stockpiles.

There’s no doubt a market in such “collateral” but what strikes you is that clients don’t actually seem to gain much advantage from it. It’s more that, as everyone’s doing it, they can’t afford not to. So it’s not so much a matter of gaining an advantage as avoiding a disadvantage. Logically therefore they all end up in the same place.

But that’s the essence of the management consultancy business. You’d better have one on side in case something goes horribly wrong. But all your competitors are receiving essentially the same advice.

That won’t worry the likes of Accenture of course and Germany’s SinnerSchrader, set to become Accenture Interactive in Germany led by Schrader, looks a sound enough buy (it employs 450 or so people and earns about €47m in revenue) albeit a somewhat pricey one.

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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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