Samsung Starts Pitch for Pan-European Agency

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Samsung Electronics – which just killed off its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after more battery fires – is lining up agencies for a pan-European pitch.

The electronics giant, which works with a range of agencies globally, wants a lead European agency to oversee work across the region, in a bid to achieve greater creative consistency across the brand, according to industry execs familiar with the review.

Agencies currently on Samsung's roster include Leo Burnett, Wieden & Kennedy, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, 72andSunny, CHI & Partners, and Cheil Worldwide – which was founded by Samsung as an in-house agency in 1973, and is still 18% owned by Samsung.

Samsung is also talking to agencies not currently on its roster.

The pitch is being led by David Lowes, who joined Samsung Electronics as chief marketing officer for Europe in January 2016. He is responsible for brand marketing across mobile, digital, audio and VR, and leads brand strategy for digital and e-commerce.

Mr. Lowes was previously at Unilever for 15 years, most recently as SVP dressings. Marketing consultancy Oystercatchers is handling the process. Marc Matheiru, chief marketing officer of Samsung Electronics America, also came from Unilever when he joined in June 2015.

Samsung declined to comment. When asked about the review, Samsung's current agencies either declined to comment on the record or didn't respond.

Despite the ongoing disaster of the Note 7 smartphone, the South Korean company – which makes everything from vacuum cleaners and microwaves to smartphones and cameras – reported operating income up 5.5% to $7 billion last week.