Rapid growth Accenture closes on ad holding rivals

Accenture is closing rapidly on its rivals in marcoms – the big ad holding companies – reporting $8.76bn in revenue from its Communications, Media and Technology practice in fiscal 2019, out of a total revenue of $43.2bn, 8.5 per cent up on 2018. CMT grew nine per cent in 2019.

The CMT revenue puts it almost on a par with Interpublic and just behind Publicis. WPP and Omnicom had revenues of about $15bn in 2018.

In terms of growth, though, none of them matched Accenture with IPG currently the best performer at about four per cent.

It’s not entirely clear from the way Accenture reports its figures if all this CMT revenue goes through Accenture Interactive but it seems fair to assume that most of it does. Nor if the ad holding companies offer all the services CMT does although they are trying to: Publicis buying tech-based consultancy Sapient and data firm Epsilon while IPG has bought another big data outfit Acxiom.

So they’re meeting on the same battleground even if they’re coming from different directions.

Accenture CEO Julie Sweet says she’s focussing on organic growth although CMT splashed out over $400m to buy Droga5. Gobbling up an ad holding company would be relatively easy for Accenture, should it so desire.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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