Engage PR set for name change following merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe

Engage Burson-Marsteller, the PR firm founded by former Gina Din Group staff, is set to change its brand identity following the recent merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe to create Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). Engage is an affiliate of Burson-Marsteller.

Late last month, WPP announced the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe to create Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), billed as one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with expertise in digital and integrated communications in all industries and sectors.

Sources disclosed that Engage – led by Desiree Gomes and Carole Muthaura – has already developed its new identity and is only waiting for approval from Burson-Marsteller before the new identity can be revealed to the public.

Engage manages various ICT and technology accounts including MultiChoice Kenya, Sony, Samsung, Equitel, CNN and SportPesa among others.

BCW will be led by Donna Imperato, currently the CEO of Cohn & Wolfe while Don Baer, Burson-Marsteller’s Worldwide Chair and CEO, will become Chairman and focus on delivering high-level counsel for Burson Cohn & Wolfe clients.

BCW combines Cohn & Wolfe’s expertise in digitally-driven, creative content and integrated communications – across consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with Burson-Marsteller’s strength in public affairs, corporate and crisis management, technology and research. BCW will be a network of more than 4,000 employees, across 42 countries.

“Our decision to merge the two agencies is driven by strong, compatible capabilities and expertise, a combined ability to deliver integrated solutions across multiple sectors and the scale to compete with the largest communications agencies in the world,” said WPP CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell.

“We have a major opportunity and the right team to take this new agency to even higher levels of success. After years of strong leadership and delivering excellent results at Cohn & Wolfe, I know that Donna will ensure the success of the combined business. I would also like to thank Don for his contribution as CEO of Burson-Marsteller over the last six years. I know he will continue his dedication to serving clients and now be able to focus entirely on high-level counsel to those clients as Chairman.”

Imperato said: “The launch of Burson Cohn & Wolfe creates a new entity in the world of communications that offers our clients unparalleled, integrated digital solutions grounded in earned media. We are energized by the fresh offerings we will bring to both our clients and our employees.”

BCW also appointed Cohn & Wolfe’s Matt Stafford as Asia president and Burson-Marsteller’s Margaret Key as leader of AxiCom, the firm’s global technology brand, across Asia. It was previously Cohn & Wolfe’s tech speciality agency in Europe, and will now go global. Both Stafford and Key report to Donna Imperato, CEO of BCW.

Sunil John was named as president of Middle East; Chris Foster as president of North America while Laura Eder is the EVP and MD of North America. BCW’s operations in Europe and Africa will be led by Scott Wilson who becomes president, Europe & Africa, BCW, while Ramiro Prudencio will take on a leadership role to help build BCW’s Global Corporate Reputation Practice.


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