Q&A with Freddie Laker of Sapient

By Brian Morrissey

Sapient made a splash last week, inking a $50 million deal to acquire Nitro. It instantly transformed Sapient from a shop primarily known for its Web design and infrastructure business into a through-the-line agency. The company plans to maintain two agency brands, Sapient Interactive and Sapient Nitro, while sharing technology, strategy and other capabilities. The move also reverses the usual story of traditional agencies buying digital specialists. Sapient director of digital strategy Freddie Laker spoke with us about the thinking behind the deal, the changing nature of digital agencies and why Cannes still matters. (Note: This interview was filmed before CumminsNitro did indeed win two Grand Prix—in PR and Direct.)