AKQA expands to Australasia by bringing DT into its global network

Brian Vella and Ajaz Ahmed of AKQA
Brian Vella and Ajaz Ahmed of AKQA

AKQA has launched in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore as fellow WPP agency, DT, has rebranded to become part of AKQA.

DT has about 220 staff and the expansion takes AKQA’s global staff to over 2,000 with 21 studios across Europe, the US, Asia and Australasia.

Ajaz Ahmed, AKQA’s chief executive said DT’s "talent and track record will strengthen the AKQA community" as it seeks to work with "progressive clients" in what he described "a world where digital is everywhere". The two agencies have already begun working together.

DT, whose clients include Bunnings, Optus, Bupa and Tourism Australia, enjoyed "double-digit" growth in 2016 – "its most successful year" in its 21-year history, according to the agency.

Brian Vella, the chief executive of DT, will continue to lead the company and join the AKQA executive team.

AKQA and DT have similar histories. AKQA was founded in 1995 and sold to WPP in 2012. DT was set up in 1996 and WPP initially bought a stake in 2012 before increasing its shareholding. 

Vella said: "AKQA has always been an inspiration to so many, redefining the industry through influential work time and time again."

He said joining AKQA meant the DT team could "provide our clients and team with access to the global stage".

DT has previously had an alliance with WPP’s creative network, Ogilvy & Mather, in parts of Australasia.

Michael Connaghan, WPP’s Australia and New Zealand chief executive, said: "Combining the cultural influence, core values and global calibre of AKQA with the capability and coverage of DT represents an extraordinary platform to create the world-leading brand experience agency."

AKQA has already added more than 300 new employees during the last 18 months.

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