WPP acquires Glover Park Group

LONDON: WPP Group has agreed to acquire Washington-based strategic communications and government relations firm The Glover Park Group.

LONDON: WPP Group has agreed to acquire Washington-based strategic communications and government relations firm The Glover Park Group.

Glover Park has more than 140 employees and offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Boulder, CO. The agency's offerings include public affairs, media relations, government affairs, opinion research, and crisis communications.

The fact that Glover Park combines advertising with PR and public affairs is what drew WPP to buy the firm, holding company press officer Kevin McCormack told PRWeek. WPP believes the acquisition will significantly broaden its issues-management offerings, he said.

No leadership changes at Glover Park are planned, McCormack added. The agency will operate independently within WPP's PR and public affairs business.

Talks between the two companies began earlier this year, Jason Miner, a managing director at Glover Park told PRWeek. Miner said the deal will allow Glover Park to team up with other WPP companies to offer clients global support.

Both Miner and McCormack declined to disclose how much WPP paid for Glover Park.

WPP purchased Blue State Digital, another political-minded Washington agency, earlier this year. The holding company also merged Public Strategies, an Austin, Texas, public affairs firm, with PR agency Hill & Knowlton in 2010. The holding company acquired Rockfish Interactive, an Arkansas-based digital marketing agency, in August.

WPP also owns and operates Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Cohn & Wolfe, Hill & Knowlton, Blanc & Otus, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Dewey Square Group, and RLM Finsbury.

WPP's PR and public affairs revenue was up 7.4% in the third quarter to $358.1 million. Its overall revenue grew by 4.7% organically year-over-year to $3.95 billion in Q3, less than the 6.7% and 5.6% organic growth seen in the first two quarters of the year, respectively.

Facebook hired Glover Park cofounder Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, in July. That same month, News Corp. enlisted Glover Park as one of its PR firms to guide it through the phone-hacking scandal in the UK.

The firm was founded by Carter Eskew, Mike Feldman, Chip Smith, and Lockhart in 2001. Eskew was chief strategist for former Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign, and Feldman and Smith were also senior Gore advisers.

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