One Of The Oldest And Largest Black-Owned Ad Firms, Burrell Communications Group, Has Been Acquired

Channing Johnson and Tara DeVeaux, Burrell Communications Group.
PHOTO CREDIT: Dallas J. Logan

Burrell Communications Group, the largest U.S. agency specializing in communications to diverse audiences, is getting under new ownership after more than 50 years.

Burrell, a Chicago-based multicultural advertising, was acquired by an equity consortium led by minority-owed private equity FVLCRUM, per a news release.

Tara DeVeaux has been named as the incoming CEO replacing co-CEOs  Fay Ferguson and McGhee Williams-Osse. She joins the company after leading teams at Y&R, SpikeDDB, and BBDO.

“We are truly excited for Burrell’s next chapter,” Osse said in a statement. “It was pivotal to Fay and me to transition the company to a team that would be committed to investing in the agency, growing its capabilities and reach in the years ahead and maintaining the talent and culture that makes Burrell special.”

“Having jointly led Burrell for nearly two decades,” added Ferguson, “McGhee and I sought to ensure that the new ownership shared our vision, standard of values, and maintained Burrell’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) designation. We are also thrilled about their selection of Tara as CEO. We’ve gotten to know her throughout this process, and she has shown tremendous energy and enthusiasm coupled with a commitment to the agency’s future.”

“I am excited and inspired by the opportunity to take on this role at what is a pivotal time in Burrell’s history,” says DeVeaux in a statement. “With multicultural consumers driving most general market trends, the line between general market and multicultural advertising has never been grayer. Understanding where these consumers are now helps brands to project where they need to be in the near future, and that’s always been Burrell’s strength. I plan to build upon that legacy through a concentrated focus on data to deliver fresh insights and renewed creativity across all platforms so we can continue to be a vital partner in growing our clients’ business.”

The agency’s client portfolio includes McDonald’s, Toyota, Comcast, Fidelity, Coca-Cola, FIFCO, and the American Red Cross among many others.

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