Diana Marszalek 25 May 2020 // 4:46AM GMT
LOS ANGELES — Burson Cohn & Wolfe is shuttering longtime entertainment PR firm BWR, a former Burson-Marsteller subsidiary, rolling its operations into the BCW entertainment practice the agencies jointly launched last August.
“BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) is committed to continually examining our business to ensure we are best structured to serve our clients and marketplace needs. Due to a variety of considerations, and the tremendous impact Covid-19 has had on the entertainment industry, we are combining our BWR brand into BCW Entertainment, effective immediately,” BCW said in a statement.
“While several of our BWR colleagues remain with BCW in Los Angeles and New York to oversee key client business, sadly we have had to say goodbye to other members of the BWR team. We are incredibly grateful to them for all of their contributions to BWR and the BCW Group, and we will be providing support to them during their transition.”
The move comes nine months after BCW launched a new suite of entertainment offerings in conjunction with BWR, which was a Burson-Marsteller subsidiary before Burson and Cohn & Wolfe merged into BCW under CEO Donna Imperato (pictured).
Called a “legendary” firm by Variety, which first reported the story, BWR had talent, television and film practices, as well as corporate and lifestyle.
But the 33-year-old agency, whose talent roster includes the likes of Adam Sandler, Zoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and Connie Britton and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, has lost business to a new crop of entertainment agencies, Variety said.
The closure is emblematic of how agencies across the industry are feeling the financial pain of Covid-19, particularly those serving sectors like entertainment and travel that are doing very little business.
IPG agencies DeVries Global, Current Global, Weber Shandwick and Golin have cut staff, with other holding groups including Omnicom also making significant job cuts across their PR agencies. Edelman and MSL have also recently made redundancies.