Digital giant AKQA opens doors in Australia through rebadge of DT

AKQA, the last major digital agency network without a presence Down Under has announced that it will expand its network into Australia via a rebrand of digital agency, DT.

Vella, left

Vella, left, will lead the local operation of AKQA, founded by Ahmed, right

DT was founded in Australia as DT Digital by David Trewern and is now owned by WPP. It rebranded to the simplified DT in 2012 when it was owned by STW, which was, in turn, taken over fully by WPP last year.


AKQA already has 2000 employees and 21 offices worldwide. It was founded in the UK by Ajaz Ahmed. DT currently employs 220 people across Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore.

Over the past year it has been looking increasingly likely that AKQA would come to Australia after winning a place on the Optus roster, which the agency initially said it would service from San Francisco.

Mike Connaghan, CEO at WPP’s Australian operation, said in a statement: “Combining the global muscle of an iconic brand such as AKQA with the local knowledge and power of DT really does represent an amazing opportunity to further solidify our leadership position in the region. DT is one of the fastest growing of our 80 companies and 2016 was a record year for them. This is an exciting next step”.

In the short term, the DT name will also remain.

Brian Vella, CEO of DT – who will lead AKQA locally – said in the announcement: “We wanted to take our business to a global level and looked for a partner with shared values, culture and vision. In AKQA we found that partner.

Ahmed said: “Australia and New Zealand regularly are ranked among the most creative countries in the world. “It’s always been a dream to launch in the Australasia region.”

DT lists its major clients as including Bunnings, Optus, Bupa and Tourism Australia.


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