Burrell celebrates 50 Years of Black Storytelling

(Burrell turns 50)

Burrell Communications Group announced today that it will honor its “golden anniversary” year by launching a new community engagement initiative, “50 Acts of Kindness.” 

Created in tribute to 50 years of connecting some of the world’s most powerful brands with Black communities, the agency pauses at this milestone to express gratitude to the people, clients and supporters who have contributed to five successful decades in business.

“50 Acts of Kindness” is the agency’s way of giving back. It will include support of and collaboration with community stakeholders focused on empowering the underserved.

The industry’s premier Black Agency was founded in 1971 by marketing maestro Tom Burrell, who sought to develop a relevant, respectful, and strong relationship between brands and Black consumers.


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Burrell coined the phrase, “Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” as he championed the inherent cultural differences that occur when marketing to Black consumers. Burrell Communications Group has long been acknowledged as the launching pad for some of the most notable thought leaders in multicultural marketing.

In 2004, long time ‘Burrellites’ Fay Ferguson and McGhee Williams Osse orchestrated a management buyout of the agency. The dynamic duo now oversees the curation of targeted creative and integrated marketing communications strategies for major brands like McDonald’s U.S.A., Procter & Gamble, Toyota Motor North America, Comcast, The Coca-Cola Company, Walmart, and more.

“It is a privilege to be at the helm of a Black and women-owned business. As we reflect upon the past 50 years, we recognize the much needed and continued significance of supporting and servicing the Black community which our work represents,” says Fay Ferguson, co-CEO. “During Black History Month, we celebrate the best of Black innovators and leaders. In doing so, we honor and salute the legacy and work of Tom Burrell, a true pioneer,” added McGhee Williams Osse, co-CEO.

The Agency’s first “act of kindness” will be a surprise donation to Primo Center. Primo Center provides family shelter, permanent supportive housing, and other services to homeless families in the south and west sides of Chicago, including North Lawndale, Englewood, and Auburn-Gresham.


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In addition to Primo Center, Burrell will execute “acts of kindness” to support stakeholder groups such as 100 Black Men and My Block, My Hood, My City, as well as faith-based organizations, local food banks, and others who provide much-needed resources to communities.

Here’s to 50 more years, Burrell.

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