Burson-Marsteller gives away $1.6m of consultancy time to mark 60th birthday

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 12.00.47 PMWPP PR firm Burson-Marsteller Australia will give away $1.6m worth of consultancy time to charities and non government organisations as part of marking its 60th anniversary.

Called the Burson-Marsteller Giving-Back Service Project, employees will be able to choose a cause, charity or project and offer communications services and other skills.

“It’s great that we are marking this important milestone by giving back rather than just patting ourselves on the back,” said CEO Christine Jones.

It is a worldwide community service effort involving the New York based company’s 2,300 employees in 110 countries.

The company opened its Australian office in 1980.


  1. Who's time?
    7 Mar 13
    1:43 pm

  2. “Naturally we will expect these hours to be carried out by our consultants alongside all their usual work to ensure our profit margins and staff ratio costs will remain steady.”

  3. Brian
    7 Mar 13
    3:01 pm

  4. Will it be of same quality of paying customer?

  5. paul the freelance writer
    7 Mar 13
    3:19 pm

  6. But pro bono is always pro bono, isn’t it?

  7. Archie Bayvel
    7 Mar 13
    4:39 pm

  8. At $500/hour including gossip, the loo, thinking about it, then x 3 for contingencies … It wonj’t take long to spend.

  9. The Internetz
    7 Mar 13
    4:40 pm

  10. Sounds awfully similar to the Edelman Digital/Design Royale launch offering #justsaying

  11. Sylvia
    7 Mar 13
    5:02 pm

  12. Glad to see people responding already! For those wanting to know more about our plan, the staff choose which causes they want to support and what they do – from volunteering to doorknocking, planting trees, etc. That’s why it’s such a great initiative – it’s not about work but personal choice.

  13. Matthew Gain
    7 Mar 13
    8:15 pm

  14. This is great, Good on you BM.

  15. The Accountant
    8 Mar 13
    9:17 am

  16. Tokenism at its cynical best. In 2010 Burson-Marstellar made public the fact that it would no longer work for big tobacco which is a good step, but in the 1990’s it was behind the most insidious PR campaigns for Philip Morris. Do the research for yourselves.

  17. Pascoe
    8 Mar 13
    9:26 am

  18. @Sylvia Is the $1.6million in-kind value for the Australian office, or global? The article/release above has it written up as the Aust office, but this release on the B-M site sounds like it’s global. http://www.burson-marsteller.c.....spx?ID=916

  19. Carrie Cousins
    8 Mar 13
    2:42 pm

  20. @Pascoe the $1.6 million reflects our global commitment. And we’re pretty excited that we’ve already received interest from local charities.

  21. Carrie Cousins
    8 Mar 13
    2:43 pm

  22. @The Accountant It’s true, we don’t work for any tobacco companies here or globally. And we’ll have to disagree with you on your other point. The staff are really behind this initative and it follows a long history of supporting charitable causes. Check out the work we did in Australia last year for Red Kite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RXhLiWNDBQ

  23. Pascoe
    8 Mar 13
    4:17 pm

  24. @Carrie Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I imagine $1.6million is barely a drop in the billings ocean of someone like B-M on a global scale. Yes, I’m cynical by nature, but to me it seems more like a reason to be able to toot own horn / issue a press release / tick the CR box, rather than genuinely give back.

  25. Dan
    8 Mar 13
    10:07 pm

  26. @Pascoe – I disagree. There arent many agencies quantifying their level of probono work. I work at a large creative agency, much bigger than BM and I dont think we would be anywhere near $1.6m of probono work around the world. Its all reveneu and cost cuts, and the odd probono piece just so we can enter an award. I think good on BM for starting to talk about how much they do. Now its up to others to publicly state how much they will give.. there’s no point throwing rocks unless you work at a company that does more. And if you do, why isnt your company saying so and encouraging others to do so as well