WPP Group has triumphed in the nine-month battle for Samsung’s $770m (&£415m) advertising business. The appointment is expected to be officially announced later this week from the consumer electronics giant’s head office in Seoul.
WPP, which pitched against Publicis and incumbent FCB, will handle advertising, media buying and direct marketing globally.
The majority of the advertising will be split between J Walter Thompson and Berlin Cameron/ Red Cell. Media will be handled by WPP’s consolidated media buying operation, Group M. WPP will also have to establish a working relationship with Cheil Communications, South Korea’s largest agency and part of the Samsung group.
A new division of WPP, Team Samsung, will be set up to facilitate the business. Although it is not known who will head it, JWT UK chief executive Simon Bolton’s name has been mooted.
WPP emerged as favourite for the business earlier this month, after Sir Martin Sorrell personally intervened, tailoring a global network of WPP companies to provide Samsung with an integrated service worldwide (MW November 4).
It is understood that Samsung felt FCB lacked the resources to take the brand further, particularly in the emerging markets of India and China, where WPP is especially strong. Regional and service weaknesses in the Publicis network may have dented the French-owned company’s hopes.
WPP’s win deals a heavy blow to the 59 FCB offices that work on the Samsung brand.