Samsung recently finished its global agency review, adding Wieden & Kennedy and BBH to the roster, and keeping Leo Burnett and Starcom MediaVest on board. The results have given the Publicis Groupe a fair amount of breathing room considering the review could have proven catastrophic for them. As well as holding on to Leo Burnett, Publicis also gained further traction with Samsung with their Rosetta agency, which joined Samsung's roster and take on a chunk of the global digital business, along with others, including Sid Lee and Interpublic's R/GA, which already works on the brand. Thus far, neither agency or Samsung themselves have been available for comment on the matter. According to a former Samsung marketing executive, almost all major corporate decisions at Samsung are handed down from the Seoul headquarters, to the extent that the US marketing team is largely kept in the dark about all review processes, hence why news has been so thin on the ground.
The results have given the Publicis Groupe a fair amount of breathing room considering the review could have proven catastrophic for them
The review, which was managed by consulting firm R3, and was the first global agency review for Samsung since 2007, is thought to have been for an incredibly lucrative three-year contract with the South Korean technology company who spent a reported $3.83 billion in worldwide advertising last year, as well as an additional $7.38 billion in sale promotion. The review was to be accompanied by regional pitches in eight separate markets, but it's unclear thus far how those pitches have been affected by global assignments.
Samsung spent a reported $3.83 billion in worldwide advertising last year, as well as an additional $7.38 billion in sale promotion
The complex global review consisted of four separate pitches; two separate creative pitches for large agency networks and boutique agencies, a media pitch and a digital pitch. Alongside incumbent network Leo Burnett, WPP's Grey also participated in the network pitch, whilst MDC's 72andSunny, which handles US work, Wieden & Kennedy, BBH and Chell all participated in the boutique agency pitch. Interpublic pulled in BPN for the digital and media pitches, and WPP brought in a team comprised of staffers from the GroupM media investment company.
Samsung is one of the largest technology companies in the world, with an estimated $2 billion yearly spend on media alone
Though Samsung is the global leader in smartphone sales thanks to its incredibly popular Galaxy series, mobile sale shave slumped of late, meaning operating income is set to fall by an estimated 24%. Samsung is still, however, one of the largest technology companies in the world, with an estimated $2 billion yearly spend on media alone, so by any estimation, winning a Samsung account is a big deal for any agency, no matter how large or small.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK. He will never own a Samsung phone because they're built like toys. Pretty though.