Ogilvy's former Dutch boss joins consulting arm of KPMG

29 May 2019 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read
More news on

Two months after leaving WPP subsidiary Ogilvy, the firm’s boss for the Netherlands Edgar Molenaars has popped up at KPMG, where he has been appointed a partner in the firm’s Advisory division. 

With the addition of Molenaars KPMG welcomes an experienced expert from the media and advertising industry to its ranks. At the Big Four accounting and consulting firm, he will lead the Customer & Brand Advisory practice. This service line helps customers with several offerings, including customer strategy, customer experience, marketing and sales transformation, brand advisory, media value advisory, design thinking, marketing innovation and social media. 

Asked why he left the agency world for a role in consulting, Molenaars said, “The activities of the creative industry and consultancy firms are converging. Customers increasingly want an integrated approach in which brand, technology and data are leveraged. I believe in the complementary worlds of consulting and creative, and in particular in the sweet spot in between both realms.” 

His statement come at a time when competition between agencies and consulting firms to become the trusted advisor to the CMO is heating, with the latter group – led by Accenture Interactive and Deloitte Digital – pursuing an aggressive buy-and-build campaign to ramp up their capabilities in the digital marketing & advertising landscape. According to US publication AdAge, the three largest agencies in the world (in terms of revenues) are now consultants, having toppled the likes of agency giants WPP, Publicis, Dentsu and Omnicom Group in the space of just a few years. Edgar Molenaars - Partner at KPMGCommenting on his move, Molenaars said in discussion with Dutch media platform Adformatie that KPMG currently has no plans for acquisitions in the agency landscape. Highlighting Accenture as an example, which has spent more than $1 billion globally on agency deals and in the Netherlands recently picked up Mobgen and Storm Digital, Molenaars said; “Takeovers are not a goal by itself. KPMG also works in a different way than players such as Accenture.” 

Molenaars previosuly worked for nearly five years at Ogilvy (a part of global advertising giant WPP) as chief executive officer for the Netherlands. Before that, he gained two decades of experience in the agency domain, serving JWT, Let’s be Frank, Publicis, Ubachs Wisbrun (which transitioned into JWT Amsterdam) and the Dutch arm of American agency RAPP. Having worked for clients such as Danone, Opel, Orange, Media Markt, ING, Renault, UPC and Vodafone, Molenaars specialises in building brands through a combination of offline and online channels.

Elaborating on his main area of focus, on LinkedIn he stated; “A differentiating brand purpose, positioning and brand led customer experience, make the necessary difference and can unlock growth potential. I help companies leverage their growth potential.” 

The new KPMG partner describes his new role as “an ambitious challenge”, adding that he looks back at his years at Ovgily with pride. Under his leadership the agency managed to “strengthen its creative and strategic capabilities and expanded its footprint,” and won Effies for Rabobank and Ford, as well as made an impact at the Cannes Lions Festivals in 2015 and 2018.

Molenaars added that the timing of his departure was right for all parties. Ovgily recently joined forces with Social Lab (purchased by Ogilvy in 2013), with the integration completed at the end of March. “The firm’s new chapter deserves a new management. That is why I seized this moment to pursue [my next] ambition.”