GTB’s Nikiforidis heads to Digitas – but how long do standalone digital agencies have left?

Adland doesn’t seem to be about ads these days but experience design. Maybe ‘total experience agency’ Accenture is to blame.

Digitas UK has hired former GTB Europe ECD Lazaros Nikiforidis (below) as ECD, reporting to ex-Ogilvy Emma De la Fosse who’s now CCO. GTB was WPP’s bespoke Ford agency. Digitas accounts include Honda, Formula 1, HSBC, GSK, a range of Kellogg’s cereals and E.ON energy.

De la Fosse says: “Laz is a creative in the now of things. He personifies what we are setting out to do at Digitas; bringing digital capability and storytelling together as right hand and left hand working as one.”

He says: “In this world of massive transformation, I believe that the need for human truths powering ideas remains a constant. At Digitas the focus is in harnessing these truths and using technology to design experiences that help brands create meaningful and lasting connections with consumers.”

Digitas trucks on within Publicis Groupe even though many of its other expensive digital buys have since disappeared – Razorfish into Sapient for example.

At some stage though the once-elite digital agencies are likely to find themselves merged with conventional agencies as the big holding companies retrench to cope with reduced fees and other developments like in-housing. WPP’s AKQA is one of the few left standing along with Digitas and there were rumours last year that a merger with Grey was on the cards.

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