NEW YORK — Five-plus months after WPP announced its plan to merge BCW and Hill & Knowlton into a single entity, the new agency, Burson, officially launched today as potentially the industry’s largest player.

Capping multiple rounds of global leadership appointments, as well as layoffs, Burson has rolled out products and programs, as well as a new brand identity, designed to communicate the agency’s “modern approach to reinventing how reputation is built and protected in today’s dynamic environment.”  The merger will be finalized July 1.

“Businesses and organizations are operating in a constant state of complexity and uncertainty, marked by rapid advancements in technology, economic volatility, wide-ranging activism, and social and geopolitical turbulence,” said global CEO Corey duBrowa, formerly BCW’s global CEO. “A strong reputation grounded in action, communicated clearly and creatively, and deployed as capital across stakeholders will enable clients to succeed in this environment. Reputation is a company’s most valuable asset for enhancing perception and growing performance, preference, valuation and return.”

Burson has created a new framework and consulting methodology to assess and manage client work around four pillars: company actions, communications, social narratives and stakeholder beliefs. The work will be supported by The Burson Innovation Portfolio, which includes suites of products that leverage AI technology to solve clients' challenges.

“In today’s complex operating environment, business leaders are converting pervasive risks into opportunities for innovation and value creation,” said global chairman AnnaMaria DeSalva. “The Burson Innovation Portfolio, which draws on the technology strengths of our combined agencies and WPP, reflects our promise to combine artificial and human intelligence in ways that help our clients succeed at the intersection of risk, creativity and reinvention. Leading companies are already leveraging these solutions to build and protect reputation in highly material situations. We are committed to both our clients and our employees that Burson will be an engine for their growth and for the enablement of the transformations that the world needs now.” 

In addition to the flagship firm, The Burson Group includes specialist tech agency Axicom; financial communications agency Burson Buchanan; healthcare agency GCI Health; and Hill & Knowlton, which will continue to operate as its own brand.

Burson will offer employees training in client leadership and skills development based on a “one Burson” approach. The Burson Academy focuses include leadership, for career navigation, management and leadership growth; client excellence, for building strong consultative client relationships; the craft of reputation management, with focus on writing, media relations, issues management and creative; and AI/innovation, for development in data & analytics, AI, the Burson Innovation Portfolio and new ways of working. 

“Burson Persons past and present – and certainly future - are known for being high performers who are never satisfied with the status quo, remain relentlessly curious and are constantly striving to improve,” duBrowa said. “We are pleased to introduce The Burson Academy for the next generation of agency leaders and to continue this important tradition of rigorous professional development.” 

Wynn Burson, grandson of agency namesake Harold Burson, helped create the executive profiles on the firm’s new website,, as art director.