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Professional advisory giants acquire communications firms

Two of the UK’s largest professional service firms have expanded their client-facing marketing and communications services capabilities by way of acquisition. On 29 November 2016, Accenture announced it had acquired Karmarama, one of the UK’s largest independent creativity digital and data agencies. Then, on 13 December 2016, Deloitte confirmed its acquisition of Regester Larkin, a crisis, issues and reputation management consultancy.

Accenture’s acquisition of the 250-employee Karmarama is intended to bolster the ability of Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, to create and deliver integrated customer experiences to brands in the UK and beyond. The move also grows the capabilities of Accenture Interactive’s UK team of marketing professionals and creatives. The terms of the Karmarama acquisition were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Deloitte will now integrate Regester Larkin with its existing crisis and resilience business, operating under the brand of Regester Larkin by Deloitte. The combined entity will comprise 70 personnel, including six partners. 

Both transactions are part of a wider market shift, which is now seeing the blurring of the career boundaries for professional service marketers. Historically, marketing has been seen as an internal support function within many professional service firms. Now, marketers can alternatively work for professional service firms, delivering revenue-generating marketing consultancy services to the firm’s external clients. 

According to a recent Econsultancy report on the UK’s 100 leading digital agencies, Accenture Interactive is now the country’s second largest, with revenues of £176.53 million in 2015. The same report also found that Deloitte Digital UK was the country’s fifth largest, with 2015 revenues of £75 million. Both agencies enjoyed substantial increases in turnover that year – a development that is likely to continue, in light of these latest acquisitions.


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