In a surprise development, Korean consumer electronics company Samsung has decided to realign its agency portfolio in India, inducting Grey and, in all likelihood, subsidiary Cheil Communications in its roster.
While company executives remained uncontactable, an official close to the development said the company kicked off the realignment exercise with a view to "working with international networks" and "bringing its entire white goods portfolio under one umbrella". To that end, the company sought a series of credentials presentations from McCann-Erickson, O&M, Grey and FCB-Ulka/Interface last month.
Post the latest round of realignment, the agency configuration stands like this. Grey seems to be the biggest gainer from this exercise grabbing the creative duties of Samsung whites - which includes refrigerators (moves from Mudra), washing machines and microwaves (both move from Triton Communications). Sources peg the size of Samsung's white goods account at Rs 25-30 crore.
Five-year-old Cheil Communications, which was working as a liaison office for Samsung in India till now, is likely to get the Samsung air-conditioner and audio businesses (both will move from Triton). Mudra retains the CDMA phones and colour television account, while Triton will service the GSM phones account besides a part of the IT business it was handling earlier. According to agency sources, Samsung's spends on telecom is to the tune of Rs 20 crore, and on IT products it ranges between Rs 5-10 crore.
The Agency of Record on the Samsung business will be Optimum Media Solutions, the media division of Mudra, which was recently spun off into an independent media agency.
None of the agencies involved in the exercise were ready to talk about this development. On his part, Ben Heo, general manager, Cheil, told agencyfaqs! that his agency is unlikely to service any part of the Samsung business any time soon, adding Cheil doesn't have the wherewithal to do so at this point in time.
To put things in perspective, Cheil Communications is South Korea's leading advertising agency, more than twice the size of its nearest rival in the country (LG Ad). Advertising Age ranked Cheil as the No 19 worldwide marketing organisation in 2002 with revenues of $165m. © 2003 agencyfaqs!