London agency Adam & Eve/DDB has won Samsung North America's TV and home appliances business, and will set up a New York office next year to service the account, according to executives familiar with the situation.
Adam & Eve/DDB was Advertising Age's International Agency of the Year in 2015. The agency declined to comment. Representatives for Samsung did not respond to inquiries. The news was first reported by Campaign.
Samsung North America's CMO Marc Mathieu was an Adam & Eve/DDB client in his previous role as senior VP-global marketing at Unilever. They worked together on a range of brands including Lipton globally, for which the agency introduced the "Be More Tea" line, as well as Wall's ice cream, ProActiv and Pears.
Adam & Eve/DDB is also currently pitching for a slice of Samsung's pan-European business. The electronics giant wants a lead agency in the region to help achieve greater creative consistency across the brand. The pitch is being led by another Unilever alumnus, Samsung's CMO Europe, David Lowes.
DDB is thought to have given the green light to international expansion plans for Adam & Eve/DDB as a way to leverage the success of the agency, which was just five years old when it sold to Omnicom for a reported $90 million.
The four partners of Adam & Eve -- James Murphy, David Golding, Ben Priest and Jon Forsyth -- reach the end of their earnouts on December 31st. The international expansion could be seen as part of a strategy by DDB to keep them invested in the network now that those initial financial incentives are expiring.
The New York shop is expected to operate as a boutique alternative to the traditional DDB offering in the U.S., working with talent and marketers that might not fit the bigger agency's profile.
DDB's long-term goal is to create a micro network that competes with agencies like Wieden & Kennedy, 72andSunny, Droga5 and Anomaly. Work by Adam & Eve/DDB for Diageo, Google and Lipton has already run in the U.S.
Adam & Eve/DDB is responsible for retailer John Lewis's famous Christmas campaigns, which have become a global advertising phenomenon. This year's effort, "Buster the Boxer," is number one in Ad Age's Viiral Video Chart, clocking up 137 million views in its first week, way ahead of the 12 million views achieved by the second-placed video. The chart includes both paid and organic views.
The agency has won seven Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity over the last three years, and In 2014 won 22 Cannes Lions for half a dozen marketers. Its most successful campaigns include "Sorry I Spent it on Myself" and "Shoplifters" for Harvey Nichols, and "Monty's Christmas" and "The Man on the Moon" for John Lewis.