AKQA, the recent winner of Digital Agency of the Year on both sides of the Atlantic, today announces that it is expanding its international network with a new office in Paris. The agency opens with Nike as its launch client. 2012 marks the 12th year that AKQA and Nike have worked together. This is the eighth opening for the largest independent digital agency, which has more than 1,100 employees around the world.
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with AKQA in France,” said Manuel Douchez, Head of Brand Communication in Nike France. “With its creative talents and innovation lead, AKQA is uniquely positioned to deliver ground-breaking digital ideas and campaigns for Nike in France.”
“Thanks to the work of our team and the confidence from our clients, we are able torealise a long-held dream of opening in Paris, one of the world’s most influential and dynamic cities. We are tremendously excited about the adventure ahead with Nike as our founding client,” said Ajaz Ahmed, Founder and Chairman of AKQA. He added, “I am personally looking forward to spending time in Paris with our team and clients. Organisations and audiences are increasingly globally minded and we are happy to invest and base an international team in the heart of Paris."
At launch, an award-winning creative team will lead the output for the Paris office. Peter Lund, Creative Director, and Nicolai Smith, Associate Creative Director, gained unique international experience with a tour of duty inShanghai, Sao Paulo, New York and Paris, having studied at The Danish Institute of Media and Journalism. Julien Veillon, Associate Creative Director and a native French copywriter, will partner with the team.
James Hilton, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, stated, “This all-star creative line-up is a dream team for our Paris launch. We look forward to benefiting from the immense creative talent-base in France to make additional hires.”
Peter Lund, Creative Director, said, “For us AKQA is a company of entrepreneurs, innovators and storytellers who create exceptional work. We’re delighted to be part of the revolution.”
France has the third largest ecommerce market and online advertising ad spend in Europe, expected to surpass €24bn and €2.7bn this year.* Furthermore, smartphone growth in France has doubled in the last 18 months, making it one of the fastest growing markets in Europe.**
AKQA’s office in Paris will be located in the heart of Saint Germain, the vibrant Latin Quarter in central Paris. Recruitment across Europe has started and the team will expand over the coming months. In 2012, AKQA plans to recruit an additional 40 people for its new office in Paris.
In 2006, AKQA opened its office in Amsterdam and launched in Berlin in 2010. Guy Wieynk, AKQA’s European Managing Director, will oversee management of the new office.