Belfast Telegraph

Advertising giant WPP buys US design firm for undisclosed sum

It is the latest deal struck by WPP since the departure of its boss Sir Martin Sorrell earlier this year.

Advertising giant WPP has acquired US firm Hirshorn-Zuckerman Design Group for an undisclosed sum.

Hirshorn-Zuckerman logged around 23.5 million US dollars (£18.4 million) in revenue in the year to December 31, 2017 and counts Hilton Worldwide, Salesforce and Tishman Speyer’s Rockefeller Centre among its clients.

The branding, content and design agency employs around 200 staff and is based in the state of Maryland, with offices in Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, DC.

The company counts digital design and development, social media and brand creation, as well as data analytics as part of its services.

The deal was clinched through Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), which is wholly owned by WPP.

It will keep Hirshorn-Zuckerman’s founder and chief creative officer Karen Zuckerman among its ranks, reporting to BCW’s global chief executive Donna Imperato.

Ms Imperato said: “With the acquisition of a top creative agency in the US, BCW has taken a major step toward becoming a global leader in integrated communications.”

She said Hirshorn-Zuckerman would be a “powerful partner” for clients across the business to business, corporate, public affairs, crisis, consumer, healthcare and technology sectors.

“We have been working with HZ for more than a year and they are a true cultural fit with our organisation”, Ms Imperato added.

It is the latest deal by WPP, which made headlines in recent months following the departure of its former boss Sir Martin Sorrell amid allegations that he misused company funds.

WPP carried out an inquiry over the allgations, but details of the investigation were never disclosed.

It has been alleged that the probe looked into whether he used company cash to pay for a sex worker, claims that Sir Martin has “strenuously” denied.

The WPP board also came under fire for its handling of his departure, which included a bumper £20 million payout.

Sir Martin’s new venture S4 Capital recently clashed with his former firm in a high-profile battle to buy Dutch firm MediaMonks.

He pressed ahead with the deal despite a legal threat by WPP alleging he broke a confidentiality agreement with the firm.

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