Asda'a Burson-Marsteller merger creates pan-regional network
Brussels, May 29, 2008: Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, and Asda’a, the leading public relations company in the Middle East region, have created a merged regional network covering all major markets in the Middle East.

The move follows WPPs Group plc’s majority investment in Middle East communications leader The Holding Group (THG).

WPP Group is one of the world’s leading communications services networks and the parent company of Burson-Marsteller through WPP subsidiary Young & Rubicam Brands. Asda’a is part of THG. The merged business will be renamed Asda’a Burson-Marsteller and will be fully integrated into Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“I am proud that Burson-Marsteller continues to expand our network into even more places around the globe,” commented Mark Penn, worldwide CEO of Burson-Marsteller.

Joseph Ghossoub, THG President and CEO, said the combined strengths of Burson-Marsteller’s global network and best practices and Asdaa’s successful strategic communications delivery across the diverse Middle East market brings unparalleled reach and resources to clients across the region.

“This is a logical and positive step that will create significant opportunities for growth and development for employees and clients,” said Mr. Ghossoub.

Sunil John, Managing Director of Asda’a Public Relations, said: ”We are delighted to be able to announce our partnership with Burson-Marsteller. The global Burson-Marsteller brand together with our leading position in the Middle East is a winning combination. We look forward to sharing knowledge and best practice across our 11-office regional network, and for our employees to benefit from the opportunities that Burson-Marsteller has to offer such as access to their practices and products, training and on-line resources.”

”We are extremely pleased to be integrating Asda’a into Burson-Marsteller EMEA and to be able to welcome 160 new professionals into our network. I look forward to working closely together and to developing our joint strategy for the Middle East region,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA).