WPP (and BCW)
Corprate Bias Ratings
WPP, a communications and public relations company, bought public relations firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) in 2018, forming one entity. WPP vets vendors according to LGBTQ policies and does not provide its employees with protections against viewpoint discrimination. It not publicly terminated business relationships based on views or beliefs, though. The company supports the Equality Act and has mandatory unconscious bias trainings. WPP has donated to ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) and is a member of the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality (PGLE). It also covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care" for its employees and their children. For these reasons, WPP earns a Medium Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
WPP has not publicly fired customers, suppliers, or vendors based on political views or religious beliefs. The company received a score of 100 on the Human Right Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. Among other requirements, this means WPP has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (1)(2).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
WPP does not publish specific charitable giving requirements, though it does not appear to discriminate against faith-based charities (1).
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
WPP’s PGLE membership reflects its commitment to “operationalize” company coverage of transgender surgery and treatment, the vetting of business partners based on LGBTQ+ policies, and the financial support of LGBTQ organizations on a global level (1)(2)(3). WPP signed an open letter in support of the Equality Act and advocates for “anti-racism”, displaying Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to be an Antiracist” on its website (4)(5). The company hosts mandatory unconscious bias training for all employees (6). WPP’s subsidiary Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) has signed letters supporting the Equality Act and opposing the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act (7)(8). BCW was part of the Freedom for All Americans coalition, which advocated for federal legislation that would overrule state laws designed to protect girls’ sports and similar laws (9). Burson Cohn & Wolfe’s Executive VP was ranked 41 in the 2020 Pride Power List after he created the Human Rights Campaign Americans for Marriage Equality campaign (10). BCW’s Global President published a statement in support of Black Lives Matter (11). WPP’s CEO Mark Read is a signatory to CEOs For Gun Safety (12). During the 2022 Pride Month VMLY&R, a subsidiary of WPP held a digital event called “Made With Pride” featuring speaker events and LGBTQ employee stories (13).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
WPP has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (1)(2). WPP is a PGLE member (3). The company uses gift-matching funds to support BLM and Color of Change (4). WPP offers travel and lodging benefits for abortion and covers gender-affirming procedures such as hormone therapy and physical transgender surgeries (5). VMLY&R has a section of its Foundation Impact Report titled “Black Lives Matter Matching Gift Program” in which they have matched donations to the Black Lives Matter movement (6). VMLY&R foundation has also financially supported The Trevor Project and Des Moines Capital City Pride (7).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
December 5, 2023
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