Ebiquity picks up 20 clients after Accenture quits media auditing

Unilever: working with Ebiquity
Unilever: working with Ebiquity

Revenues still slumped by a quarter because of Covid-19.

Ebiquity, the media auditing and analytics company, has picked up 20 clients this year from Accenture since the consulting giant announced it was quitting its media auditing practice.

Nick Waters, the new chief executive of Ebiquity, who was previously executive chairman at Dentsu Aegis Network in the UK and Ireland, said the company “has made good progress in securing significant new clients as Accenture exits the sector”.

Ebiquity said the 20 new clients were worth £5m on an annualised basis, across up to 40 markets, and named all of them in an investor presentation. They included BMW, Daimler, Orange, Unilever and Walgreens.

"Significant" wins were chiefly in Spain, France, Germany, the UK and the US.

Accenture announced it was stopping media auditing in February and ceased involvement on 31 August, the end of the consulting giant’s financial year.

Growth in new clients was a bright spot for Ebiquity in a tough set of financial results, as revenues slumped 24% to £26.8m in the six months to 30 June because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the knock-on effect on advertising expenditure.

Ebiquity, which advises hundreds of global advertisers on their media spend, revealed how coronavirus had affected different client sectors. Revenues from the automotive sector crashed 50% but consumer packaged goods were up 11%.

Ebiquity had lacklustre topline growth and was loss-making even before Covid-19, and Waters plans to give a strategic update at a capital markets day in November.

Ebiquity was combative in its investor presentation, claiming "other global firms – eg PwC, Deloitte lack specialist depth" and "specialist competitors lack our geographic spread, breadth and depth of capability".

Media auditing is a small but important sector that involves checking clients’ advertising spend with agencies and media owners and ensuring agencies are compliant with their contracts.

Industry rivals claimed Accenture faced a potential conflict of interest because its own agency business, Accenture Interactive, was competing with some of the agencies that its separate media auditing division was auditing and benchmarking.

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