Next week, ex-GlaxoSmithKline and Optimum Media Solutions hand Mona Jain joins Cheil Communications, the integrated communications subsidiary of Samsung, as vice-president, media. Now comes the news that the agency, which currently handles part of Samsung's IT business (monitors and laptops) and part of its consumer durables business (including audios, air-conditioners and GSM mobiles phones) is set to handle the estimated Rs 125-crore media duties of the Korean durables major Samsung.
Confirming the move, Ruchika Batra, deputy general manager, corporate communications, said, "All Samsung media activities would be routed through Cheil now."
The move of Samsung's AOR to Cheil is the culmination of a realignment process set in motion some six months ago, around July 2003. To quickly recap the events that took place then, the refrigerators business, which was with Mudra, and the washing machines and microwaves accounts, which were with Triton Communications then, were moved to Grey Worldwide. (The cumulative business of Samsung's white goods with Grey is pegged at Rs 25-30 crore.) OMS was appointed the agency of the record.
At the time of the realignment of portfolio, Samsung had indicated that Cheil, in all likelihood, would also get Samsung's air-conditioner and audio businesses, which were then with Triton.
Thus, since its July 2003 announcement, Samsung set about consolidating its consumer durables business with Cheil, while the home appliances part was entrusted with Grey. While there were talks that Mudra might cede the colour television account to Cheil, Samsung maintains that the estimated Rs 25-30-crore CTV business stays with the Ahmedabad-headquartered agency. Says Batra, "The Samsung CTV business and the corporate account continue to be with Mudra."
To put things in perspective, Samsung subsidiary Cheil Communications operated as the company's liaison office in India till mid-2003. Ben Heo, managing director of Cheil in India, facilitated the growing relationship between the Cheil and Samsung in the country. When ex-TBWA hand Viren Razdan, and Mehernosh Shapoorjee, ex-creative head, FCB-Ulka, joined the agency last year, it was but obvious that in time Cheil was to shed its liaison status and evolve into a full-service agency. As was expected, after putting the creative team in place, a media department was set up at the agency. Now, with the pecking order more or less in place at Cheil, it would be interesting to see if the agency makes a dash for other Samsung businesses. © 2004 agencyfaqs!