February 27, 2014

Press Release

Burson-Marsteller announces further strategic moves in Africa

Johannesburg, 27 February 2014 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, today announced further important strategic moves in Africa. Arcay Burson-Marsteller, which celebrates 25 years in Africa this year, and became a majority owned subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller in September 2011, has been renamed Burson-Marsteller with immediate effect. In addition 12 of the company’s long-standing exclusive affiliates across the continent have entered into new partner agreements, bringing them even closer to the network by now using the name Burson-Marsteller in a total of 27 countries across the continent.

With its 53 country reach and more than 20 years of client service experience Burson-Marsteller in Africa represents the pre-eminent network across the continent. The Burson-Marsteller Africa network is headquartered in Johannesburg and continues to be run by Chairman and CEO for Africa, Robyn de Villiers, who founded the network 25 years ago. Partner agencies include Infocus Burson-Marsteller in Ghana and Sierra Leone, Mali, Gabon and Burkina Faso; Prime Media Burson-Marsteller in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; Prime Media Burson-Marsteller in Benin; Media Link Burson-Marsteller in Liberia; Premium Burson-Marsteller in Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea-Conakry; Icon Burson-Marsteller in Cameroon and Niger; Optimum Burson-Marsteller in the DRC and Congo Brazzaville; Digital One Burson-Marsteller in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia; Cactus Burson-Marsteller in Ethiopia and Djibouti, Majestic Ventures Burson-Marsteller in Rwanda and Burundi; Vivid Burson-Marsteller in Zimbabwe and Rikhozi Burson-Marsteller in Mozambique. In addition, Engage Burson-Marsteller was launched in July 2013 covering Kenya and Tanzania.

“The African continent is one of the world’s strong emerging markets and key to our clients’ global business strategies. Today’s announcement shows our ongoing commitment to ensuring that we are where our clients need us to be, ready to offer them strategic communications services that will contribute to their overall business success,” said Don Baer, Global CEO of Burson-Marsteller.

“This year marks 25 successful years offering strategic communications services to clients under the Arcay name,” said Robyn de Villiers, “and over 20 years of exciting and rewarding times building up strategically sound and enduring partnerships with talented communications professionals across the continent. I am immensely proud to see the company assume the globally-renowned Burson-Marsteller brand in South Africa and to be instrumental in raising the Burson-Marsteller flag across Africa.”

Jeremy Galbraith, CEO Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “When we announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Arcay Communications in 2011, I said that the next decade would bring immense growth in the PR industry across Africa and that we were committed to growing our business there. Two years on, with Arcay Burson-Marsteller having increased revenue by over a third, referred more than 35% in additional revenue to our network partners in Africa and having doubled profit in 2013 in the midst of one of the worst ever global economic downturns I am more than ever convinced of this view. Robyn’s leadership of our Africa hub office, our business in South Africa and our network of partners across the continent continues to prove a winning formula, allowing us to focus on Being More for our clients across our sixth continent.”

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 72 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a unit of WPP, the world’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit bm.com and bm-africa.com.

Media contact

Karl Haechler
Burson-Marsteller Africa
+27 11 480 8532

Valerie von Eberhardt
Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa
+32 2 7436643