By Nat Ives
Kimberly-Clark Corp. named Accenture Interactive as the lead creative agency for its baby and child-care products, supporting global marketing initiatives and handling the business in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The business is Accenture Interactive's first big win pitching with Droga5, the well-known creative ad agency that Accenture PLC acquired in May and made part of the unit. Accenture Interactive is Accenture's division for its advertising and marketing agencies.
Accenture Interactive won the work partly because it had technology tools that Kimberly-Clark hadn't seen before, but also partly because of Droga5's creative capabilities, said Alison Lewis, chief growth officer at Kimberly-Clark. "Technology without creativity or ideas really doesn't work," she said.
When asked, she said Accenture Interactive would have had a tougher time getting the business without Droga5. "I'm not sure that would have given us the full solution," she said.
Accenture Interactive competed in a review for the global business, the companies said. The incumbent, WPP PLC, successfully defended its role in the Asia-Pacific region and Canada. WPP's Mindshare agency also continues to handle the majority of Kimberly-Clark's media duties around the world. Kimberly-Clark expects to announce a decision about creative duties for its baby and child-care products in Latin America soon.
The baby and child-care business at Kimberly-Clark includes brands like Pull-Ups, GoodNites and Huggies, which recently introduced a line of diapers made from plant-based materials and distinctively packaged in black.
Last year the company spent $83.7 million advertising Huggies, Pull-Ups and GoodNites in the U.S., not counting certain digital advertising such as social media and keyword search, according to data and research provider Kantar.
Large agency holding companies such as WPP, Omnicom Group Inc., Publicis Groupe SA and Interpublic Group of Cos. have long dominated advertising and marketing. In recent years consulting firms such as Accenture, Deloitte LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have been building marketing, consumer experience and design divisions to compete for some of the same work.
The consultancies have hired creative professionals and bought creative agencies to build out their services, but Accenture's purchase of Droga5 was the biggest move in that direction to date. Droga5 employed roughly 500 employees at the time of the deal, with offices in New York and London.
"We would not have been able to do this without them, and I don't think they would have been able to do this without being part of Accenture Interactive," said Brian Whipple, chief executive officer at Accenture Interactive, referring to winning the Kimberly-Clark business.
WPP said it looks forward to continuing to work with Kimberly-Clark. "We have a longstanding and valued relationship with Kimberly-Clark and they remain a significant global client," a spokesman said.
Write to Nat Ives at firstname.lastname@example.org