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Advertising should add value and not be disruptive, says head of Accenture Song


Accenture Song CEO David Droga

Accenture Song CEO David Droga

Accenture Song CEO David Droga

Knowing when to stay out of the way is under appreciated by advertisers and brands but key to consumer engagement, according to the head of Accenture Song – the $14bn (€13bn) division consolidating dozens of agencies and consultancies including Ireland’s Rothco into a new global brand.

Accenture Song is the new name of Accenture Interactive, announced in April as part of a wider change including integration and consolidation of the profit and loss (P&L) accounts of 40 businesses, under CEO David Droga – an ad man who sold his own Droga5 to Accenture in 2019.

The combination of what had been Accenture’s portfolio of interactive and media agencies into Accenture Song will create a digital agency, with revenues this year likely to be around $14bn, Mr Droga told the Irish Independent.

Consolidation will create scale to deliver more to clients in a rapidly shifting media landscape including creative, media industry, technological and data capabilities, he said.

“That’s the beauty of sitting in this role now as a creative person, because creativity is really just about ambition and possibilities. And to be able to know now that no idea is too big or too grand, because we have the capabilities to pull it off.”

Consumer habits are shifting and brands need to understand how, and how not to engage, he said.

“I think restraint is something that a lot of brands and agencies don’t understand, that makes for a more sincere relationship. I’m still a consumer and the brands that I’m drawn to are the ones that play a role in my life, don’t overstep the mark, add value.

“I’ve never believed in the model of advertising being about disruption. That’s not the model that I want to build.

“I’m all about: how do we find a place and time to add value? How do we try to find a place to show up and be rewarding or entertaining or informative? That’s our job – to add value.”

Dublin-based advertising agency Rothco and design consultancy Fjord will be rebranded in the coming months as Accenture Song as part of a global consolidation by the consulting and outsourcing giant.

“The name change is just a starting point in the sense that it doesn’t solve anything, it just sort of makes a point that we are united from this point ­forward.”

Merging a diverse set of often founder-led businesses will create challenges he said.

“I think it’s not going to be policies or mandates that makes it something, it’s going to be the chance to build something with more potential and something that is a worthy destination that will bring everyone along.

“The most honourable thing I can do for people’s personal cultures or brands is to make them relevant and give them a position where their people can flourish tomorrow, as opposed to look in a rear view.”

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Dates have not been set for the Irish name changes but the underlying merger of business is already underway, he said.

Rothco clients include
Heineken, AIB, Woodies and Dublin Bus. It was bought by Accenture in 2017.

Fjord is a design and innovation consultancy that works with corporations to design products, services and ­customer experiences.

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