Cohn & Wolfe and GCI Group merge to create ‘Top Ten’ communications agency

2 July, 2008


New York, NY – WPP public relations agencies Cohn & Wolfe and GCI Group have merged to create a dynamic global agency singularly-suited to the transformed communications environment. The new firm, to be called Cohn & Wolfe, offers a powerful combination of breakthrough, brand-building creativity and pioneering digital and social media strategies. Cohn & Wolfe will be led by industry veterans Donna Imperato as Chief Executive Officer and Jeff Hunt as President.

“This is an exciting time in our industry where movements in social and digital media, corporate social responsibility and the power of the consumer are all changing the communication landscape,” said Imperato. “To succeed in this environment, clients need an agency with a great range of expertise and bold, original thinking. By combining our resources, Cohn & Wolfe instantly becomes one of the few agencies in the world with the breadth, depth and creativity to turn any communications challenge into a powerful idea.”

Cohn & Wolfe’s renowned heritage of brand-building and creative programming, combined with GCI Group’s award-winning expertise in digital and social media strategies will enable the firm to focus on ideas that connect clients to the people who matter to them, through the most effective communications channel, and in the most appropriate voice. The new firm will service an impressive roster of clients across many sectors and geographies.

“We are excited about the opportunities this new agency creates for our people and our clients,” said Hunt. “Cohn & Wolfe will be known for a disruptive and unconventional approach. With great talent in social media, search and other digital media assets, a renowned culture of creativity, and extensive research and brand planning resources, we are uniquely positioned to deliver the sort of programs clients need to stand out and succeed in what is a fascinating, albeit noisy, communications environment. Our combined skills will help deliver great customer satisfaction and attract and retain the industry’s top talent.”

Global Resources
Cohn & Wolfe will combine offices from all regions of the world to create a new global resource for clients. Headquartered in New York, Cohn & Wolfe will have offices in all major markets worldwide. To further enhance its offering to clients, Cohn & Wolfe will align with additional WPP companies Quinn Gillespie, a leading public affairs firm; Schematic, an interactive agency that creates branded experiences; and GCI Health, a global specialty firm.

“This is the right time to bring together two very complementary agencies,” said Howard Paster, executive vice president, Public Relations and Public Affairs, WPP Group. “They have been close partners for the past few years and benefited from shared resources and integration. Together, and in partnership with Quinn Gillespie and Schematic, Cohn & Wolfe will be a powerful agency focused on delivering big ideas across all media channels.”

The merger follows Cohn & Wolfe’s acquisition in April of AxiCom, a leading pan-European technology firm, boosting the agency’s depth in its global technology practice. Cohn & Wolfe’s practices will include Consumer Branding, Corporate, Healthcare, Technology, Digital, Sustainability and Sports Marketing.


About Cohn & Wolfe
Cohn & Wolfe is a strategic public relations agency dedicated to creating, building and protecting the world’s most prolific brands. With offices around the world, the agency is committed to breaking new ground in the delivery of cross-channel media strategies, creative programming, and practice area excellence.

Cohn & Wolfe is recognized year after year by clients and the industry for excellence in creativity, client service, digital communications, media strategy, senior management and strategic counsel. Cohn & Wolfe also consistently ranks among the top “Best Agencies to Work For” in an annual, industry-wide employee survey. For more information, visit: www.cohnwolfe.com. Cohn & Wolfe is part of WPP Group plc (Nasdaq: WPPGY), one of the world's largest communications services group.


Contacts:

Donna Imperato
Cohn & Wolfe
New York
212.798.9799

Jeff Hunt
Cohn & Wolfe
Austin
512.542.2821

Acrobat Document CohnWolfe_PressRelease_Merger_Jul08_guide763fb1d86.pdf


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