Deloitte Digital's Acne expands into Italy and Portugal

11 September 2020 Consultancy.eu

Acne, the Swedish origin creative organisation acquired by Deloitte Digital three years ago, has announced a campaign of European expansion, as it looks to capitalise on a difficult year for its competitors. Acne has launched new offices in Milan, Rome and Lisbon.

Leading Swedish creative organisation Acne Agency was snapped by Deloitte Digital in 2017. The move was a response to demand for a holistic technology, consulting and creative solution among clients of consulting firms, and added major clients such as IKEA, H&M and Spotify to Deloitte's roster.

At the time of the purchase, Deloitte also hired ex-Havas London executive creative director and Work Club co-founder Andy Sandoz, who would go on to oversee the agency, as well as Deloitte Digital’s wider creative offering. In the three years since Deloitte’s takeover, Acne has been reformed as a consultancy, and is now bidding to expand across Europe by opening a string of new offices.

Deloitte Digital's Acne expands into Italy and PortugalCommenting on the plans, Sandoz said, “Acne’s entrepreneurial spirit and cultural sixth sense builds modern brands with human stories, simply told with impeccable style – a very Swedish way of doing things. With creative consultancy increasingly in demand across Europe, opening the doors of Acne’s new offices will bring new opportunities for our clients to benefit from their creativity.”

Acne’s move comes despite most major advertising holding companies announcing double-digit falls in revenue in the summer of 2020, thanks to the shock of the pandemic. The firm seems to be viewing that as an opportunity, aiming to eat into the market share of incumbents by offering clients an end-to-end service as a “fast-moving creative partner.”

Adam Springfeldt, Executive Creative Director at Acne, commented, “It has been important for us to have strong creative and strategic leadership in each office with people who understand and carry the values of Acne and share our ambition for the future. This is important as we shape the next generation business model for creative services.”

At present, Acne plans to increase its European headcount by 50, as it aims to strengthen its continental network. However, not all of these 50 staff members will be new recruits – with some will also be “existing Deloitte Digital talent” who have been reassigned. This will give Deloitte the opportunity to slightly decrease pressure on its bottom line by moving some staff onto Acne’s payroll, while Acne will be able to leverage Deloitte’s global clout to source top talent in the world of consulting and creative agency work.

Acne has already set up offices in Milan, Rome, Lisbon – in addition to existing headquarters in Stockholm, and its London, Dublin and Berlin wings.

In Italy, Deloitte has around 5,400 professionals, and Acne’s Milan and Rome offices will be led by former BBDO employees Andrea Jaccarino and Emanuele Viora, who both joined Deloitte in 2017.

In Portugal meanwhile, Deloitte has around 1,500 professionals, and in Lisbon Acne will be led by João Carvalho Oliveira – who joined Deloitte in September 2020, having spent the last 20 years with Wunderman Thompson.