Today, Accenture Interactive entered into an agreement to buy yet another ad agency, New York-based shop Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), as the consulting behemoth appears to be increasingly taking on traditional agency work.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Accenture described MXM (owned by the larger media company Meredith Corp.) as a “content-focused leader in integrated marketing, cross-channel strategy development and creative execution.” The publicly-traded consulting firm has acquired multiple indie shops over the past few years as it tries to compete more directly with traditional agencies.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for Accenture Interactive to add market-leading talent and capabilities,” Jeannine Falcone, marketing offering lead for North America at Accenture Interactive, said in a statement. “Combined with other acquisitions, MXM adds creative, digital marketing, content strategy and marketing execution heft to our North America business.”
Accenture did not disclose the financial details of the deal but said the acquisition is set to close within 60 days, pending final approval.
“The acquisition of MXM reflects our commitment to build on our existing capabilities in marketing services by bolstering our data and content offerings,” Accenture Interactive head Brian Whipple added in a statement. “The blend of [Meredith] with our current capabilities and robust marketing intelligence platforms will set us apart as a leader to design, build and run the best customer experiences on the planet.”
Accenture said MXM “has superior data and analytics skills, combined with award-winning content creation and strong customer engagement capabilities.” MXM is home to more than 450 technologists, creative and performance marketing professionals in the U.S. and Canada. Key clients include Kraft Heinz, Lowe’s, Volkswagen and WebMD. The consulting firm said the purchase will increase its presence in key U.S. markets including Dallas, Des Moines, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Accenture Interactive family,” MXM president Georgine Anton said in a statement. “The combination of Accenture Interactive and MXM will be powerful in the market, plus the depth of their offerings will deepen our capabilities, enabling us to better serve both existing and new clients.”
Anton continued: “Accenture Interactive will provide MXM with a home where it can offer clients best-in-class, single sourced, integrated solutions—this is a clear competitive advantage for Accenture Interactive and, now, MXM.”
The acquisition comes as the advertising industry seems to debate consultancies’ threat to the traditional agency model. During a fourth quarter earnings call, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell downplayed the concern of Accenture and consulting rival Deloitte encroaching on his agency network’s space, calling it “fake news” in a slide that showed WPP winning a majority of pitches in which it competed with such firms.
Publicis Groupe CEO and chairman Arthur Sadoun then came out in contrast just a few weeks later to say his holding company would be taking a hard pivot toward consulting as part of a three-year “2020: Sprint to the Future” plan.