Tag Archives: AKQA

Big bids: a sign that the recessionary cycle is coming to an end?

For no obvious reason Britain’s recessions come in roughly 10 year cycles at the start of each decade.  And the latest was no exception.  So what is it that has prompted companies like Dentsu, WPP and Publicis to go an acquisition spree when business is at its most depressed?

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Dentsu’s Aegis bid: a brave decision

Dentsu’s planned takeover of Aegis Group is what in Yes Minister parlance might be described as a “brave decision”.

Dentsu’s track record has been one of solid success in providing traditional marketing services in its home territory of Japan– leaving aside the Tsunami and the economic recession – but of less success when it has embarked on sizeable acquisitions outside that comfort zone.

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Who will buy the last big digital independent?

With AKQA’s shareholders extracting a juicy $540 million from WPP, it’s hardly surprising that other would-be acquirers are swarming round the only other obvious large candidate likely to be for sale – LBi International – like bees round a honeypot.

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What is the future for digital marketing agencies?

The future of stand alone digital marketing agencies looks increasingly limited as we learn today that Saatchi & Saatchi France is to absorb the Duke digital agency.

A few months ago Engine Group’s digital agency Altogether Digital merged with WCRS and, in a sort of role reversal, Dare merged with sister creative agency MCBD.  Of course the leader in this trend was AKQA, a digital agency that in 2001 seemed to have adopted a rather novel and unexpected strategy by merging with US creative agency Citron Haligman Bedecarré to become a seamless whole.

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Time for Dentsu to spell out its digital strategy more clearly

There are hints that a mentality of “If it’s digital, we’ll buy it” is beginning to take hold at Dentsu as it strives to catch up in this key strategic component of the marketing mix.

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The future is digital, but less profitably?

Hidden amongst the small print of financial announcements from various agencies in the last couple of weeks were a number of hints that, while the advent of digital is transforming the shape of the marketing industry, it is not necessarily helping to maintain its profitability.

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Dentsu plans blitz on western markets

Dentsu, the biggest Japanese marketing group, has announced two moves that clearly signal its determination to conquer western markets that have eluded it for so long.

The group has reorganised its existing western operations under the banner of Dentsu Network West with the aim of expanding in the Americas and Europe.  The company will be lead by Tim Andree who is chief executive of Dentsu Inc.  Jim Kelly will retain responsibility for Europe and Renato Loes will head the Latin American region.

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Who will buy this AKQA digital gem?

While it comes as no surprise to hear that AKQA is in talks about selling out and thereby realising a gain for shareholders like private equity investor General Atlantic Partners, it does seem a little far-fetched to think that Dentsu or anyone else would part with $600 million to acquire it.

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Daryl Arnold has left Profero’s group board…very quietly

In a bout of boardroom changes co-founder Daryl Arnold has ceased to be a director of the digital agency Profero.  The move came only a few months after the sudden departure of former chief operating officer and European chief executive Daniele Fiandaca at the end of 2009.  That in turn followed shortly after the appointment of Nicholas Blunden as chief executive officer, a role previously held by Daryl Arnold himself.  Non-executive director and MP Andrew Lansley also retired from the board at the end of 2009.

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AKQA makes a strong profit recovery in the UK

AKQA, the UK digital agency that is a subsidiary of the private equity owned US company with the same name, enjoyed an impressive recovery in profits last year.  Post-tax profits reached almost £2 million – up from just £281,000 in the previous year.

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