2005 Global Profile: Burson-Marsteller

CEO: Thomas R. Nides

CEO: Thomas R. Nides

Headquarters location

New York

Total US staff

Not supplied.

Total non-US staff

Not supplied.

Worldwide office locations

Wholly-owned: Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, Oslo, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Berne, Zurich, Amsterdam, London, Manchester, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Bogota, Mexico City, San Juan, Caracas, Melbourne, Sydney, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul

Majority-owned: Argentina (51 percent), China (80 percent)

Minority-owned: NATIONAL Public Relations, CIVITAS

Affiliate/partnership: Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Vienna, Sofia, Zagreb, Prague, Helsinki, Athens, Budapest, Dublin, Warsaw, Lisbon, Bucharest, Moscow, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Bratislava, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Kiev, Belfast, Harare, Guatemala City, Panama City, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Wellington, Islamabad, Karachi, Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, Dubai, Kuwait City, Jeddah, Alma-Ata

Proportion of the wholly- and majority-owned agencies that carry the parent's brand name


Global structure

Burson-Marsteller is structured around its clients. We create long-term partnerships with our clients and work with them to integrate our respective systems as much as possible. The firm is managed by a 16-person executive board representing our global business interests and culture. Top global accounts are serviced by Key Client Relationship leaders. We have four global practices: Corporate/Financial, Healthcare, Public Affairs, and Technology. In addition to our four global practices, Burson-Marsteller has a practice structure in the US and reports by market in the other regions. Our US practices include: Corporate/Financial, Brand Marketing, Advertising/Design/Interactive/Production (Marsteller), Healthcare, Technology, Public Affairs, Media, and the Insights & Ideas Group. We also have specialty practice groups such as Direct Impact (grassroots), BKSH (lobbying), 360Advantage (Advocacy Advertising/Campaigns), US Hispanic Marketing, Crisis Management, Change Communications, and Corporate Responsibility, among others.

In the US we have market leaders in each office. In most international locations the market leaders are also the national leader, and they are supported by a global/regional network of practice experts. Burson-Marsteller continues to make significant investments in its financial and management reporting technology. Global reporting and billing is completely integrated worldwide. A network of Burson-Marsteller business managers and accounting personnel report to regional CFOs, a worldwide CFO and controller before reporting to President and CEO Worldwide, Thomas R. Nides, and the executive board.

Key clients

US Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Federal Reserve System: Introducing "The New Color of Money"

Regions where account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly-owned office of the firm

North America, South America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Burson-Marsteller leads the account, coordinating the activities of multiple WPP partner companies and other affiliates during the course of the program, including: six US Burson-Marsteller offices (Washington, DC, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas) as well as a number of international offices including Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom/London, and Hong Kong. The integrated WPP team includes: Burson-Marsteller (worldwide), Marsteller (Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago), Direct Impact (Washington, DC), Landor (New York), Penn, Schoen & Berland (Washington, DC), Kang & Lee (New York), Y&R (Russia), The Willard Group (Ukraine), NATIONAL PR (Toronto) and Capitol PR (Istanbul). Other affiliates and partners include The PBN Company (Washington, DC and Russia) and Ofield Dukes (Washington, DC).

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

Research, materials development, domestic and international special event development and management, media relations, Website enhancements and interactive elements, video, minority and direct outreach, domestic and international stakeholder outreach, and corporate partnerships.

Length and type of engagement

Burson-Marsteller won the account in August 2002, and has been engaged with the US government on this project since that time, and is continuing for at least four additional option years.

Management structure of the account

"The New Color of Money" public education program is centrally managed by Burson-Marsteller's Public Affairs Practice in Washington, DC, only steps from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The program is led by US Public Affairs Practice Chair Jim Lake (account supervising executive), Managing Director Mary Crawford (project manager) and Director Christine DiBartolo (account manager). The team also includes specialists from Burson-Marsteller's Media, Corporate/Financial, and US Hispanic Practices, as well as partners specializing in branding, ethnic and minority outreach, and research. As integrator, campaign manager and strategic counselor, Burson-Marsteller brings all program elements together and coordinates the activities of multiple WPP partner companies and other affiliates.

Hundreds of communications professionals, around the US and the world, work on the account. As a way to strategically manage all program elements, Burson-Marsteller's central management team in Washington, DC coordinates all activities. In addition, weekly conference calls are held internally and with clients, and a secure team intranet site enables constant access to materials and information for all team members, regardless of where they are situated around the globe.

How account is billed

Billing occurs monthly, in terms of time and materials.

Size of budget

A budget of approximately $66 million is in place, spanning the base year and option years, including fees and incentives.


Regions where account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly-owned office of the firm

Burson-Marsteller works with SAP in 47 offices globally, in every region.

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

Corporate and product public relations, media relations, research, issues management, industry analyst relations, public affairs and lobbying, and change management.

Length and type of engagement

Burson-Marsteller has been the agency of record since January 2002.

Management structure of the account

Global client leader Heidi Sinclair, based in Madrid, oversees 150-200 people worldwide.

How account is billed

Not supplied.

Size of budget

Not supplied.


Regions where account is serviced, and whether the work is done by an affiliate, partner or a wholly owned office of the firm

Burson-Marsteller is the global agency of record for Accenture, supporting the company in the US, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Burson-Marsteller partners and affiliates support Accenture in Canada, India, and Eastern Europe.

Type of work done on the account, including practice areas involved

Corporate public relations/counsel, media relations, research, issues management, event support, government relations.

Length and type of engagement

Burson-Marsteller has been the global agency of record since 1989.

Management structure of the account

New York City-based Global Client Leader Fred Hawrysh, leads a semi-onsite team of Lisa Gordon-Miller, Laura Ryan, and Tom Olson, who support Accenture's corporate communications team. Media relations professionals with industry knowledge or contacts support most of Accenture's global industry groups. Likewise, Burson-Marsteller consultants with specialty knowledge of technology or consulting, such as SCM or CRM, support Accenture's capability group media and analyst relations teams. Finally, in-country teams support Accenture's local communications teams in the company's major markets.

How account is billed

Differs depending on client requirements.

Size of budget

Not supplied.

Global revenues change from one year ago (Global revenue is defined as revenue generated by all regions)

While global revenue is flat from one year ago, Latin America is still experiencing double-digit top line growth and Asia Pacific is also experiencing solid growth offset by shortfalls in both the US and Europe.

International revenues change from one year ago (International revenue is defined as revenue generated by all regions excluding the region in which the agency is headquartered)

International revenue is up on the strength of top line growth in both Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Global staffing change from one year ago

Our global recruitment activity has ramped up substantially. We are more aggressively looking at strategic hires as the economy continues to strengthen. While the strengthening economy does mean more people are making moves, it's important to note that our activity is not just replacement activity - we are building for the future.

International staffing change from one year ago

It has accelerated primarily in high-growth markets and practice areas.

Performance in light of expectations and the sociopolitical factors affecting performance

Top-line YTD results have not met expectations based on our growth plan. Both Asia Pacific and Latin America are exceeding expectations. We anticipate growth in the US and Europe as the year progresses.

Business won, or lost, in the past year due to a global PR consolidation by the client

Burson-Marsteller lost no existing business due to global consolidation. We won a competitive pitch to support Moscow's global program to secure the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. We lost a competitive pitch to SC Johnson for global consolidation.

Best-performing regions

Latin America and Asia Pacific are performing very well. In Latin America, where the region is still relatively immature, investments in people and products have led to tremendous growth in our smaller markets over the past two years. We've also seen significant growth in Venezuela, Argentina, and Mexico. In Asia Pacific, China has grown 44 percent over 2004, fueling the region's growth. We continue to invest in both regions, expecting similar contributions in the future.

Under-performing regions

Slower than anticipated starts in both the US and Europe, but we anticipate growth as the year progresses.

Region targeted for increased investment of resources this year

Plans are already in place to make several key investment hires around the globe to build upon our successful global healthcare capability, strengthen our existing corporate offering, especially in the UK, and expand our public affairs business in BKSH.

Region targeted for decreased investment of resources this year

We strongly believe that in order to grow the business, we must invest in the business. Therefore, we don't anticipate any decreases in investment this year.

New region/country under consideration to enter this year

With offices in over 40 countries and affiliate relationships in another 35 countries, Burson-Marsteller has achieved an unprecedented level of global strength. We are always open to opportunities where our clients do business.

Consideration of international acquisitions or organic growth

We will continue to invest in all of our regions, with particular attention on the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions.

International pro bono activities and other ways the firm connects with the regions in which it operates

Burson-Marsteller has a proud history of philanthropic and pro-bono involvement, and we strongly encourage and support volunteerism and community service by all employees worldwide.

Our global activities for charitable and philanthropic organizations involve collective and individual contributions to organizations including: American Cancer Society; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; City Meals on Wheels; Family Hospice; Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Ronald McDonald House; Adere (assists the mentally challenged in Sao Paulo); Alzheimer's Association; United Way of New York City; Habitat for Humanity; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Make A Wish Foundation; March of Dimes; Project Travessias (helps homeless children in Sao Paulo); National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition; and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Our employees also provide pro-bono services, serve as volunteers, and hold positions on advisory boards for a wide range of organizations and causes such as the Special Olympics, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, AIDS Walk, Salvation Army, Girl Scout Council of New York City, Para Los Ninos (family service agency), The Magic Johnson Foundation, The Urban League, Milken Institute, Youth Business China, Florida Hurricane Relief, Planet Finance China, Association of Volunteers in Chile, China Guangzhou Volunteers' Union, International Museum of Women, Guangdong Museum of Art, Music Museum, Asian Youth Orchestra, La Fundacion Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (Iberoamerican Foundation for New Journalism), World Society for the Protection of Animals, San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tree Aid, Ningxia Hope, VIEW Clubs of Australia, Ted Noffs Foundation, Business Action on Homelessness, and VIP Mentoring.

Burson-Marsteller employees in all regions also joined the worldwide effort to help victims of the devastating Tsunami that struck Asia. Our employees worked across the gamut of relief efforts, ranging from supporting the International Red Cross, UNICEF, Red Crescent Societies and other organizations to volunteering their time to relief groups and responding directly to the needs of remote fishing communities. They made and helped raise donations, identified specific organizations and communities where they could directly channel support, and helped clients and others with aid-related communications initiatives. And our efforts are continuing. Under one program, Singapore employees have been granted seven days' paid leave to go to the Tsunami-affected country of their choice to assist with rebuilding and relief work, and employees are sponsoring children for five years. Our affiliates also provided pro-bono services to Tsunami victims

Key changes made over the past couple of years that were driven by clients' changing needs

At Burson-Marsteller, we strive to be a truly client-centric firm. For instance, all of our service and product innovation is driven by changing client needs and demands. In the past year, evolving client needs have led to the introduction of: 360Advantage (bringing the political campaign model to corporate clients); our new executive positioning/thought leadership specialty group, global and on-line extensions of our market-leading crisis communications capability, an exhaustive third-party reputation rankings offer, and a cutting-edge training offer we are beginning to roll out to clients. On a geographic basis, growing client interest in China and India has seen us deeply expand our resources and relationships in these hot markets. On the people front, our clients demand the very best talent to lead their accounts. We have taken steps to continually strengthen the skills of our top client leaders with sophisticated senior training, and have continued to enhance the role and stature of client leaders to make it an attractive and rewarded career track, on par with market and practice leadership.

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