By - CTL
October 16, 2017

By Dorothy Thompson.

In a move that was as predictable as it was obvious, McCann Erickson’s Melbourne’s senior leadership team have been poached by Deloitte Digital in an effort to establish credibility. Obviously Deloitte’s new jump into the dark art of Advertising/ Marketing is to fortify its brand and creative offering.

Managing director Adrian Mills, ECD Matt Lawson and head of strategy and media David Phillips, will all leave the agency to join the consultancy.

Deloitte “Digital Lead Partner” Steve Hallam commented: “We are always on the lookout for people who drive disruption. So to have the hottest creative industry talent in Australia choosing to be part of our business is genuinely exciting.

“We are not seeing this as another advertising offering, but an integral part of the Deloitte team; integrating creative, media and brand strategy into all our other service offerings such as customer experience, experience design, storytelling, AR, VR and marketing optimisation.

“The strength of this team is their ability to clearly articulate and build the right idea to help businesses understand where they’re moving to rather than where they’re moving from. In an era of rapid industry disruption, that distinction is critical for business success.

Deloitte says that their expertise complements Deloitte’s “deep industry knowledge, business transformation, organisational change and versatile technology experience”.
Oh really Steve, dress it up any way you like it; it is most definitely a direct move against what the Bean Counters see as the Advertising Industries weakened position.

Should other agencies be worried, you can bet your last dollar they should and most likely not be the last, so, yes indeed they should be shaking in their preverbial boots.

This is a much easier and far less costly and quicker way of breaking into Ad Land. McCann’s CEO Ben Lilley confirmed the exits and while he did not reveal any plans the agency has in place to plug the significant wholes at the top of the agency he did say.

“I’ve worked with Adrian for six years now and have seen him grow from a talented group account director to an accomplished managing director in that time. David, Matt and Justine have also achieved great things with us at McCann and I thank them all for their significant contribution to our business in this time. I look forward to continuing to watch them grow and prosper. They have great futures ahead of them and leave with our very best wishes,”

Well what else could he say?

Unlike Accenture, who acquired The Monkeys and design agency Maud for an undisclosed fee, (all though the industry abounds with rumours of how much, the most commented on figure being Accenture paid between 21 and 25 times earnings, making the purchase some where north of AUD $60,000,000. I must again reintegrate that this is only a rumour). The Monkeys had traded independently for some ten years, it was founded by Mark Green, Justin Drape and Scott Nowell it is one of Australia’s most respected advertising agencies.

A spokesman for Accenture says, “The move strengthens the customer experience capabilities of its Accenture Interactive business and another significant investment in the marketing and advertising industry”.

But who are Accenture?

Their web site reveals: Accenture solves our clients’ toughest challenges by providing unmatched services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. We partner with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, driving innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. With expertise across more than 40 industries and all business functions, we deliver transformational outcomes for a demanding new digital world.

Some of the Board members are as follows:

Pierre Nanterme: is Chairman & CEO of Accenture, a US$32.9 billion global professional services company. In addition to chairing the board of directors, Mr. Nanterme is responsible for managing the company, formulating and executing long-term strategies, and interacting with clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders. He is Accenture’s primary decision- and policy-maker, setting the tone for the company’s values, ethics and culture. Mr. Nanterme joined Accenture in 1983 and became a partner in 1993. He holds a Master of Science degree in management from ESSEC Business School (École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) in Paris.

Jo Deblarer: their Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Deblaere joined Accenture in 1985 and became a partner in 1996. He holds a degree in business administration and information management from KU Leuven in Belgium. Mr. Deblaere is based in Brussels.

Omar Abbosh: their Chief Strategy Officer. Mr. Abbosh joined Accenture in 1989 and became a partner in 1998. He holds a degree in electronic engineering from Cambridge University and a master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD.

Mr Gianfranco Casati: their Group Chief Executive- Growth Markets –Developing Countries. Mr. Casati joined Accenture in 1984 after practicing as a certified public accountant, and he became a partner in 1994. Mr. Casati holds a Degree in Economics from Pavia University in Italy.

Robert E Sell: Group Chief Executive of Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology. Their operations group serves clients in the communications, electronics, technology, media and entertainment industries. He is also a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee. Mr. Sell joined Accenture in 1984 and became a partner in 1995. He received his Undergraduate Degree in Economics from Lafayette College.

Roxanne Taylor: Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, her focus is on strengthening Accenture’s brand in the marketplace and bringing innovative marketing approaches to help grow the business by building relationships with clients, engaging employees and attracting world-class talent Ms. Taylor holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland

Mike Sutcliff: Group Chief Executive of Accenture Digital. He helps clients create or react to digital disruption across industries around the world. He builds teams capable of applying digital platforms, technologies, and techniques to imagine and deliver better experiences and more profitable business models. Mr Sutcliff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical/Computer Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in business from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

An overview of their business reveals:

Form the Forth Quarter FY ending 31 August 2017

Net Revenues: US$34.9 billion for fiscal 2017 (12 mos. ended Aug. 31, 2017)
Exchange/Ticker: NYSE/ACN
Index Memberships:  S&P 100®, Russell 1000® Index, Fortune Global 500
Employees: Approximately 425,000 (6,600 Accenture Leaders)
Global Reach: Offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 55 countries
Geographic Regions: North America
Growth Markets

It is with out question, they are a highly talented and profitable group of people, one might call them entrepreneurs or even perhaps venture capitalists, but they are quite obviously not in the Advertising business. In fact on looking into the board of this company and its structure, none have any advertising background at all. So why delve into advertising?

It must be apparent, and it must, or it should be worrying the Advertising Industry deeply that there are, “Barbarians at the Gates”. They are under siege. What they do about it will remain to be seen, but have no doubt they (the Barbarians) are not going to go away any time soon, unless dramatic reforms (by the Agencies) are undertaken sooner rather later.

Part 3 next week – “What value does a brand have?”

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