AKQA to expand into global network

- AKQA, one of the UK's largest independent new media agencies, is to become a global network and is expanding its UK base to set up offices in the US and Asia.

- AKQA, one of the UK's largest independent new media agencies, is to become a global network and is expanding its UK base to set up offices in the US and Asia.

The company has received £48 million ($71 m) in funding from Accenture – formerly Andersen Consulting – and Francisco Partners LP, and will expand its London base to establish offices in New York, San Francisco, LA, Singapore and Washington over the next few months.

The new media agency is expanding by merging with four existing companies that will adopt the AKQA brand. The American advertising agency Citron Haligman Bedecarre will become AKQA US, as will the web agency Magnet Interactive. The AdInc, an Asian new media agency, becomes AKQA Singapore.

AKQA, whose clients include Orange, Nike, Microsoft and Sainsbury's, is also entering into a joint venture with Accenture to deliver new media solutions. Accenture will deliver strategic and consultancy services with AKQA as its preferred partner for digital marketing and communications, and AKQA will have access to Accenture's 24 business launch centres around the world. .

Ajaz Ahmed, the company's founder and managing director, is to become global chairman and chief marketing officer. AKQA's UK client services director Guy Wieynk, who has been with the company for three years, steps up to takes Ahmed's place as UK managing director.

Rick Hadala, previously chief executive of Ammirati Puris Lintas in the US, is to be the company's global chief executive.

Ahmed said: "We are trying to breakdown the silo between traditional and interactive marketing, and clients need a company which enables them to do this well."



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