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  • Burson-Marsteller is a global public relations and communications firm headquartered in New York City

 Burson-Marsteller facts

  • Burson-Marsteller operates 67 wholly owned offices and 71 affiliate offices in 98 countries in six continents
  • The company was founded by Harold Burson and William Marsteller in 1953, and, by the early 1980s, had become one of the largest public relations companies in the world
  • In 1979 it became a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam, which in turn is now owned by WPP Group PLC
  • The current CEO of Burson-Marsteller is Don Baer, former communications director for the Clinton administration, who joined the company in 2007 and who replaced Mark Penn as worldwide CEO in July 2012
  • The firm provides public relations and advertising services to clients, including multinational corporations and government agencies
  • It is primarily known for its crisis management services and political lobbying
  • It has won numerous awards from the public relations industry over the years for its work in high-profile crisis management, including the late 1990s Asian financial crisis, a 2002 extortion attempt against British company GlaxoSmithKline, and a response described as the "gold standard" for its crisis management of the 1982 Chicago Tylenol poisonings
  • Other high-profile crisis cases include the manufacturers of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station and Egypt following terrorist attacks on tourists in 1993
  • At times it has also been the subject of protests and criticism for its use of smearing and doubt campaigns (to undermine concerns about passive smoking for Philip Morris in the 1990s and anti-Google smear campaigning for Facebook in 2011) and its work for regimes facing severe human rights criticisms (Argentina and Indonesia)
  • The firm also works in corporate PR, public affairs, technology and healthcare communications and brand marketing

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