WPP has announced a merger of Hill & Knowlton and BCW Global, creating a new communications agency called Burson. The goal is for Burson to become a leader in modern communications, offering top-notch services globally. The new agency will start operating on July 1, 2024, and its brand will be revealed later this year.
The newly formed Burson will have more than 6,000 employees in 43 markets worldwide. Its name honours the late Harold Burson, a pioneer and founding figure of modern public relations and strategic communications.
This union of agencies will enable Burson to best serve clients in a complex and volatile environment in which strategic stakeholder communications has never been more critical. The new agency will draw on both organisations’ unrivaled talent base, exceptional global networks, investments in technology, creative capabilities, and public affairs and advisory specialties to drive reputation and value creation through the interdisciplinary solutions that clients demand now.
Corey duBrowa, currently global CEO of BCW, has been named global CEO of Burson and AnnaMaria DeSalva, currently global chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton, has been named global chairman of Burson. Together, they will oversee agency strategy, client service, employee experience and culture.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Hill & Knowlton and BCW are two high-performing businesses with complementary strengths, shared ambitions and many shared clients. I am delighted to see the Burson brand brought back to unite them. The new agency will be the standard bearer as the most modern, strategic, technology-driven, full-service communications offer in the industry.”
In Kenya, BCW Global operates through Engage BCW, part of the global communications giant Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). Engage BCW provides comprehensive communication and public relations services, specializing in strategic communications, corporate image building, public affairs, government relations, crisis management, financial PR, internal communications, corporate social responsibility, consumer/brand communications, awareness/community outreach, media relations, online/social/digital media, content development, sponsorship, and event management.
Hill & Knowlton, located at The Chancery, Valley Road, Upper Hill, Nairobi, is a leader in strategic communications for transformation. The company helps clients communicate effectively to lead and offers services in strategic communications, public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis management, employee engagement, and digital communications. Hill & Knowlton is part of WPP Scangroup, headquartered in Nairobi, and is recognized as Kenya’s premier PR firm.