Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), a top-three global communications agency, has announced the appointment of Sunil John, Founder & CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, as President of BCW’s Middle East operations.
BCW was created in February through the merger of Burson-Marsteller & Cohn & Wolfe, leading PR agencies owned by WPP, the world’s largest communications services company. At BCW, the fast-growing Middle East region will be a separate division, with John joining the global leadership team alongside Chris Foster, President, North America, Scott Wilson, President, Europe & Africa, Francisco Carvalho, President, Latin America, and Matt Stafford, President, Asia. All regional leaders will report to Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer of BCW.
“This is a powerful leadership team that will drive integration and growth at Burson Cohn & Wolfe and lead BCW on our mission to become the best integrated communications agency in the world,” said Imperato. “They each have proven track records in leading strong regions and excellence in client service, are deeply respected in their markets, and bring the right integrated expertise and mindset to the roles – the mindset needed to complete a seamless merger and continue pushing the boundaries of integrated communications.”
John said: “With a population of 350 million people, some 60 per cent of whom are under the age of 30, the Middle East is a dynamic region poised for exceptional growth across all sectors and markets. The scale of the new BCW network, our focus on ever greater integration, and now our flexibility as an independent regional entity will give us a distinct advantage in pursuing exciting opportunities across the region.”
The new company’s brand identity and online presence will be unveiled shortly. Until then, Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe will operate under their existing branding.
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller was founded by John in 2000 as an independent agency. In 2008, WPP acquired a majority-stake in the firm, which joined the Burson-Marsteller network. Today, BCW’s Middle East operations employ 160 professionals across 10 wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates in 15 countries. The firm provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, and is the leading PR consultancy in the region.
The agency produces the annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, one of the most important and widely-cited pieces of independent research into the region’s most important demographic, its youth. Now in its 10th year, the Survey is an invaluable source of information on the hopes, fears and aspirations of young Arabs aged 18-24 in 16 countries.