Will this year be one for more bids and deals in adland? We haven’t seen a big one for a while and so far the year has started with smaller stuff – New Zealand’s Attivo buying Hill Holliday and Deutsch NY from Interpublic and now Accenture Song buying Work & Co, a design and tech agency.
Work & Co has made a name for itself with last report of revenue of $146m in 2022 and 400 employees across three centres although last year it laid off 8% of its staff, suggesting times have toughened.
Accenture Song CEO David Droga (above) says: “I have admired Work & Co’s client work, distinct model, and strong leadership for years. It’s little wonder they are widely considered as one of the world’s very best digital product companies.”
Accenture bought healthcare marketing agency ConcentricLife in October and commerce agency The Stable in July. Other buys include Bangkok creative and digital agency Rabbit’s Tale and Sydney’s customer insights business Fiftyfive5, indicating a policy of smaller, niche acquisitions rather than a big transformative deal (with claimed revenue of $18bn, Droga may think he doesn’t need one.)
As for other big ad holding companies, Omnicom has splashed out $835m on ecommerce and retail media specialist Flywheel while WPP is reported to be expecting a £400m windfall as majority owner Bain seeks to unload research giant Kantar. Havas bought 51% of UK indie Uncommon Creative Studio in a deal that may be valued at £100m plus way down the line.
With little organic growth on adland’s horizon there will likely be more deals this year, especially as the dreaded AI kicks in and people, for some companies, become a disposable luxury.