Cannes Conversation: Accenture Interactive's Glen Hartman

CANNES, FRANCE--Accenture Interactive's $500 million acquisition of Droga5 will reinvent the advertising agency model, thanks to corporate synergies, according to Glen Hartman, senior managing director, Accenture Interactive. 

"It's a wonderful marriage,” said Hartman. “We can now take the emotion Droga develops and explore it in other ways, particularly around delivery." He adds agency founder David Droga remains "committed" to leading his agency into this new agency structure and the agency will maintain its own clients while also servicing Accenture's roster. 

Droga famously lost the Tourism Australia account last year, despite winning multiple awards due to the agency’s lack of a presence in the country. (The agency had a Sydney office, but closed it a few years back.) 

But, says Hartman, speaking from the company's branded yacht on Monday at the Cannes Lions Festival, it wouldn't be smart to count Droga out to regain this business. 

Hartman pointed out the expanded opportunities offered by the Accenture-acquired and Sydney-based shop The Monkeys. "We say it is 1+1=3 because combining creative with branding with delivery introduces a whole new experience," he said. 

Hartman dismisses chatter over consultants’ perceived lack of creative skill sets, stodgy reputations and risk-adverse preferences. Accenture's leverage as a multi-billion-dollar consultancy is one asset holding companies regularly call out as a weakness. 

While the practice's $8.5 billion annual revenue stands apart in the advertising world, it's just one segment contributing to its parent's $35 billion annual revenue. “This scale enables us to test new products and innovative solutions without relying on quarterly earning calls,” says Hartman. 

"The debate over creative versus consulting is over," he proclaims, noting clients requested Accenture add marketing and branding services to its portfolio. “Today's agency model is one integrated capability to solve whatever the client needs. It might be creative work, a new product, or a new loyalty program. We are reconfiguring a company around experience,” he says.

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