Accenture buys Chinese marketing agency as global programmatic service launches

Accenture has made another major play for agency territory by launching a global media buying service and acquiring Shanghai-based agency, HO Communication.

Having already muscled in on creative agencies’ space by acquiring Australian shop The Monkeys, the professional services company will now offer programmatic consulting and in-housing, media strategy and ad tech.

Claiming it will “help advertisers take back control of their media capabilities”, the move will cause alarm for media agencies following years of increased criticism over buying practises and transparency.

“Advertisers are reacting to the changing media landscape and they want to move beyond the status quo and take back control of their media capability,” said Scott Tieman, global lead of programmatic services, Accenture Interactive.

“We believe we can help our clients do things differently. Accenture Interactive has an offering that is highly differentiated in the market and is built on a foundation of trust and transparency. We have the ability to leverage Accenture’s global footprint and capabilities to integrate strategy, creative, data, technology and analytics together to drive superior results – a clear advantage for our clients.”

Accenture Asia-Pacific was unavailable for further comment at the time of publication.

Meanwhile, Accenture’s acquisition of HO Communications marks its first major move into Asia’s creative sphere since it bought Hong Kong digital marketing agency Pacific Link in 2015.

Founded in 2014, HO Communication employs more than 200 people in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Nanjing, and offers digital creative, design, marketing, media and brand content.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Accenture currently has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan.

HO Communication Lamy Zhang chief executive officer said: “The state of the traditional marketing and advertising industry is changing. Clients want campaigns, but they also want advice on strategy and assistance on delivery. We see this as the future for the industry, and want to be part of creating and shaping that future.”


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