Burson-Marsteller has set up a new global practice dedicated to
communicating issues surrounding the year 2000 (Y2K) and the millennium
The practice launched this week and includes 24 ’communications command
centres’ around the world, which will be manned around-the-clock during
the transition to the new millennium.
The global Y2K unit spans ten offices in Europe as well as eight offices
in North and South America and six Asian offices. In total, at least 140
of B-M’s existing corporate and crisis PR staff will be pooled into the
In Europe, the Y2K practice is being led from London jointly by B-M
corporate MD for Europe, Per Heggenes, and corporate practice director
Consultants will manage any crises as they emerge over the millennium
As the end of the year approaches, B-M will help its existing clients
communicate their plans to cope with the millennium bug to the media,
consumers and staff. The agency is especially focusing on small and
medium-sized companies, which are less prepared for the millennium, and
on consumer perceptions of the problems posed by Y2K.
B-M worldwide CEO Chris Komisarjevsky said: ’Y2K has the potential to be
a major disruption for companies, even if not a single computer
That’s because the millennium bug is no longer just a problem of
technology, but one of business management.
’The stage is already set for irrational consumer behaviour. A growing
number of consumers now say they expect to store food, water and cash
regardless of what happens on 1 January,’ he added.