WPP to merge BCW and Hill & Knowlton to create comms giant
WPP on Thursday said it will merge BCW and Hill & Knowlton, as the advertising and communications company continues to consolidate its internal brands.
Why it matters: The move will create Burson, a communications group that will be one of the largest PR agencies in the world, with more than 6,000 employees.
Details: Corey duBrowa, who joined BCW from Google last year, will serve as global CEO of Burson. Hill & Knowlton CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva will serve as global chairman.
- The rest of the leadership team will be announced this year.
- Burson will launch on July 1 of this year, WPP said.
What they're saying: "Hill & Knowlton and BCW are two high-performing businesses with complementary strengths, shared ambitions and many shared clients," said WPP CEO Mark Read.
The big picture: This is the latest round of mergers within WPP, which has long been consolidating its internal brands to streamline operations.
- The brands themselves have expanded in recent years.
- In 2018, Burson-Marsteller merged with Cohn & Wolfe to create BCW, while Hill & Knowlton increased its global footprint in 2023 by acquiring Latin American firm JeffreyGroup and German firm 3K Communications.
Of note: WPP holds a majority stake in strategic communications firm FGS Global, which sold a 30% stake to private equity group KKR in a deal valued at $1.425 billion.
- Global advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy is part of the WPP portfolio as well.
- London-based WPP is the world's largest advertising group by revenue.