Professional services firm Accenture to acquire big SA agency group

By our News Team | 2021

Purchaser says well-established King James Group is “more than an agency” and a “well-oiled and combined communication practice”.

Accenture Interactive, a South African subsidiary of Accenture – the multinational professional services company that specialises in IT services and consulting – last week agreed to acquire the SA-based King James Group. 

The latter is a highly awarded creative agency with expertise in brand strategy, creativity, PR and digital marketing services. The deal is subject to local approval by the Competition Commission.

The key reason to acquire a predominantly digital marketing agency, according to Haydn Townsend, Accenture Interactive’s Managing Director for South Africa, is that: “King James are much more than an agency. It is a well-oiled and combined communication practice. This is what we were looking for to be able to build out an end-end solution for clients when combined with our existing offering.”

How did this come about?

Townsend says: “We had been building out a strategy for growth and one of the key pillars of this strategy is to augment our small communication practice within Accenture Interactive Africa.

“There are two ways to do this – we either build or buy. We thoroughly explored those options. While we have a big head start in service design and technology, in communication we deemed the gap too huge to close organically.”

Alistair King, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, adds: “I think the industry just assumed we were committed to remaining independent, so Hayden Townsend’s initial approach was fairly cautious and speculative. I suspect he was surprised when we said ‘Sure, let’s chat.’ The truth is we have long admired Accenture Interactive’s business model and have always felt that we would fit right in. The right time; the right suitor.”

The next logical step was Accenture

Says King: “If I look back at our 24-year journey, we’ve been evolving constantly and consistently as brand communication has shifted. We started out as a traditional agency and then slowly added design, PR, digital, social and retail capabilities along the way. The next logical step for us is what Accenture can bring. 

“While we will continue to deliver our existing business individually, it’s really when we combine the King James offer with Accenture Interactive, then with strategy and consulting, technology and operations, that the magic will happen. It will transform us both and make us more compelling than we ever could be on our own,” concludes Townsend.

Source: Accenture/King James

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.