WASHINGTON, D.C.—WPP is merging its international communications brand Hill & Knowlton with public affairs and strategic communications consultancy, effective January 1.
Jack Martin, founder and chairman of Public Strategies, will become global executive chairman of H&K; Paul Taaffe will remain global CEO; and Dan Bartlett will expand his role to become president and CEO of H&K USA and chairman and CEO of Public Strategies.
Martin says the merger provides Public Strategies with an opportunity to expand on the global stage. “This gives us a premier platform on which to showcase our leadership and further expand our offer of unique new business strategies for our clients,” says Martin, who founded Public Strategies in Austin in 1988 and has built it into one of the nation’s largest public affairs specialists.
For Hill & Knowlton, says Taaffe, “Combining with Public Strategies gives H&K clients access to even more value as well as adding critical mass in the financial sector and research capabilities.”
Combined, the firm will have over 2300 employees and 83 offices in 44 countries. Each company will retain its brand for the foreseeable future.