NEWS29 January 2024

WPP merges two communications agencies

Media News UK

UK – Advertising giant WPP has merged its two largest communications agencies, Hill & Knowlton and BCW, to form Burson.

Mark Read

WPP said the merged company would be a full-service communications agency focused on building and protecting reputation.

Burson will be led by global chief executive officer Corey duBrowa, currently global CEO at BCW, and AnnaMaria DeSalva, currently global chairman and chief executive at Hill & Knowlton, has been named global chairman.

Burson will be operational from 1st July 2024, and its new branding and further appointments will be released later this year.

GCI Health and AxiCom will continue to operate as brands within Burson, offering specialised healthcare and technology communications expertise, respectively, at scale.

WPP said that merging Hill & Knowlton and BCW would help Burson to best serve clients in a complex and volatile environment.

Mark Read (pictured), chief executive at 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.”

DuBrowa said: “Together as Burson, we will bring insights, expert strategic counsel and technology solutions into a higher value offering for our clients to help them innovate and lead in today’s complex operating environment.”

DeSalva added: “Our body of work increasingly demonstrates that strategic communication, elevated by creativity, is a primary force for sustainable value creation.

“By accelerating our transformation through this combination, we will enable the investments in talent and technology that advance communications leadership when it has never mattered more.”