WPP’s Burson Cohn & Wolfe Acquires Creative Shop HZ

Financial terms were not disclosed

WPP communications agency BCW bought creative shop HZ for an undisclosed sum. - Credit by Twitter: @hzdg
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), a WPP-owned communications agency formed via the merger of PR firms Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, announced the acquisition of HZ, an independent, integrated creative shop based in Rockville, Md., with offices in Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

HZ, founded as Hirshorn-Zuckerman Design Group in 1987 and formerly known as HZDG, has nearly 200 employees across its offices. The agency reported total revenue of $23.5 million in 2017, and its clients include Hilton Worldwide and Salesforce.

The deal signals a “major step” for BCW in “becoming a global leader in integrated communications,” BCW global CEO Donna Imperato said in a statement.

“Bringing additional creative firepower to our team strengthens our ability to deliver digitally driven integrated programs. … This is what makes BCW such a powerful partner,” Imperato said.

BCW has been working with HZ for about a year, Imperato added, calling the company “a true cultural fit.”

HZ’s listed offerings include multichannel digital design and development; mobile activation; social media, brand and identity creation; content, film and video production; search marketing; data and analytics; and integrated media solutions.

Karen Zuckerman, HZ founder and chief creative officer, will retain her title and report to Imperato, according to a joint statement.

“We’ve spent the last three decades conceiving and evolving brands with award-winning creative, agile marketing strategies and cutting-edge digital activations,” Zuckerman said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to unite with BCW and to work together to expand our collective abilities on a global stage.”

Since the February merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW has announced several key leadership moves including delegating regional presidents in March to North America, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, and Africa, and, in May, appointing Jim Joseph to the new role of global president of brand solutions.

BCW boasts a client roster that includes Barclays, ExxonMobil, Hennessy, Mattel, Panasonic and Smucker’s.

@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.