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Public affairs

A number of WPP’s companies undertake public policy work on behalf of clients. This is done through direct lobbying of public officials or through influencing public opinion.

Our companies use media relations and facilitate coalitions of individuals and organisations with shared views. This activity is primarily, but not exclusively, in the US. Some similar work is done in Canada, the UK and in the EU and occasionally elsewhere. Among the WPP companies engaged in public affairs work are:

  • Burson-Marsteller, and its subsidiaries:
    • BKSH
    • Direct Impact
    • Penn, Schoen & Berland
  • Hill & Knowlton, and its affiliate, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates
  • Ogilvy Government Relations, an arm of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
  • Timmons & Company
  • Quinn Gillespie & Associates
  • Dewey Square Group
  • Public Strategies

WPP companies comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing the disclosure of public affairs activities. In the US this includes the Lobby Disclosure Act and the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which are designed to achieve maximum transparency on client representation. In the US, this means lobby firms are required by law to register the names of clients on whose behalf they contact legislators or executive branch personnel.

When our companies represent a coalition they do not mask the underlying client.

It is WPP’s practice that those of its US companies whose sole or primary business is lobbying have representatives of both major political parties among senior management.