Cohn & Wolfe and GCI Group Merge to Create 'Top Ten' Agency for the New Era in Communications

    Two complementary agencies with best-in-class skills unite;

    Alignment with other WPP companies further enhances service offering

    NEW YORK, July 2 /CNW/ -- 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
    "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: Cohn & Wolfe is part of WPP Group plc (Nasdaq:  
WPPGY), one of the world's largest communications services group.

For further information:

For further information: Donna Imperato, New York, +1-212-798-9799, or 
Jeff Hunt, Austin, +1-512-542-2821, both of Cohn & Wolfe Web Site:

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