The most-read deal stories of 2018

WPP started the year with a bang with the most-talked-about agency combination in some time. Also: what's an affiliate agency?

WPP starts 2018 with a bang by creating Burson Cohn & Wolfe
February 27 
News about the most-read-about, and most-talked-about, PR deal came out early in the year, without warning, and before agency leaders wanted it to be made public. WPP’s mashup of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe was one of the most significant PR news events of the year.

Peppercomm and the affiliate brand, Hot Paper Lantern
June 12
In June, Peppercomm co-CEO Ed Moed, president Ted Birkhahn, and other leaders left the firm to create an affiliate agency known as Hot Paper Lantern. But what’s an "affiliate brand?" Like a sitcom spin-off? Single cell mitosis? Birkhahn defined the term in PRWeek’s second-most-read agency deal story of 2018.

Text100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes says goodbye after merger with Bite
September 20
Tim Dyson, CEO of parent company Next Fifteen, said combining Text100 and Bite makes sense given their complementary propositions. But in PR agencies, like most organizations, there can be only one leader. And so longtime Text100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes began planning to leave as the two firms merged.

Nasdaq makes $335 million selling GlobeNewswire and related divisions
January 29
The financial company sold its PR and digital media services businesses including GlobeNewswire, as well as its web hosting, webcasting, media intelligence, and influencer database to West Corporation and said it would use the cash to repurchase shares.

H+K and SJR separate in a global restructure
October 5
Hill+Knowlton Strategies bought Group SJR in 2013, but it divested the content shop in October. SJR is now on its own (inside WPP) and would, said H+K CEO Jack Martin, probably move out of H+K's offices in New York. The two firms will work together on common clients but have not decided who gets custody of the dog.

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