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Hill and Knowlton and Ashoka Form Precedent-Setting Global Partnership

NEW YORK, June 27, 2002 - Hill and Knowlton and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public have formed a global partnership through which Hill and Knowlton will provide pro bono communication services to build awareness of the growing field of social entrepreneurship and also to help Ashoka and its Fellows with their work.

Ashoka is a global non-profit organization that identifies and invests in social entrepreneurs who it elects as "Ashoka Fellows" —extraordinary individuals whose ideas drive profound, and systemic social change in their countries and beyond. Since 1980, Ashoka has helped more than 1,200 Fellows in 43 countries get started and succeed. Fellows focus full-time on solving problems with the support of Ashoka's stipends and professional services.

"Hill and Knowlton's global reach and leadership in institutional positioning, public issues, corporate social responsibility, and communications are a natural match for us," said Ashoka founder Bill Drayton, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "With the field of social entrepreneurship maturing across the globe, we need to spread its innovations more rapidly, build awareness of the field, and encourage many more to enter it. We're very excited to have the benefit of their strategic communications support. With Hill and Knowlton's expert counsel, we and our Fellows will be able to do all this far more effectively."

Ashoka Fellows implement creative and practical solutions in every area of human need ranging from education and youth development to environment and health care to human rights, civic participation, and economic development.

"In honor of our 75th anniversary, Hill and Knowlton is proud to undertake what we believe to be the first-ever global pro-bono relationship with a social sector organization," said Howard Paster, worldwide chairman and CEO. "As a firm, we have always believed in the power of creative ideas to change the world, and our partnership with a unique and increasingly global organization like Ashoka embodies our mutual commitment to advancing the important causes of our society."

Ashoka Fellows initiate and manage programs worldwide, like Rodrigo Baggio, who so far has trained 220,000 at-risk young people in Brazil and ten other countries on two continents in computer and Internet skills.

"I personally have been a long-time supporter of Ashoka," added Paster. "Its concept of social entrepreneurship mirrors the entrepreneurial spirit we foster. I'm very pleased to bring our two organizations together in this partnership."

Through the partnership, Hill and Knowlton adopts Ashoka as its strategic philanthropic partner, enabling its employees to provide professional help and learn from hundreds of leading citizen sector organizations on every continent associated together through Ashoka.

Hill and Knowlton first worked with Ashoka in January 2002, providing media training for 15 Ashoka Fellows attending the World Economic Forum in New York. The Hill and Knowlton and Ashoka partnership will begin primarily in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Germany, and then expand more broadly into Europe, and eventually Asia. The relationship will be managed from the Hill and Knowlton international headquarters in New York.

About Hill and Knowlton
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Hill and Knowlton Inc. (www.hillandknowlton.com) is a leading international public relations and public affairs firm, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is based in New York, with 66 offices in 35 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP Group plc (NASDAQ: WPPGY, ), one of the world's largest communications services groups. Hill and Knowlton was recently named "Agency of the Year 2001" by The Holmes Report.

For more information please contact Ashoka's Marketing Director, Kelli Moore, at kmoore@ashoka.org.