The Player: Weedfald looks to drive point home for Samsung

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Peter Weedfald likes to recall his old nickname at Ziff-Davis-The Hammer. "I was on more airplanes and met with more customers face-to-face than any other publisher."

Mr. Weedfald, now VP-marketing communications and new media for Samsung Electronics, spent nearly 10 years at Ziff in 17 different roles, starting as a district sales manager at PC Magazine and ending his run as publisher of Windows Sources in 1997. He left Ziff in 1997 for International Data Group where he was publisher of its ComputerWorld flagship. Outside of publishing, Mr. Weedfald was senior VP-marketing for ViewSonic Corp., a marketer of computer displays, and exec VP-global marketing-general manager of the Internet appliance division at Bigfoot Interactive, the permission-based marketing services company.

At ViewSonic, Mr. Weedfald devised the "ViewSonic On Top" campaign, a Intel Inside-like effort which touted the company's monitors in conjunction with other brands-"A Dell computer looks better with ViewSonic on top," for example.

"He's a very energetic visionary ... he was quite a brand arbiter for the company and created a great brand strength for ViewSonic," said Gene Ornstead, director of business development, ViewSonic.

In the newly created position at Samsung, Mr. Weedfald will focus on integrating communications across the company's North American operations, which include Samsung Telecommunications America in Dallas, Samsung Electronics North America in Park Ridge, N.J., Samsung Information Systems America in Irvine, Calif., as well as operating units in Canada and Mexico. The company's North American marketing communications group reports to him, and he reports to D. J. Oh, president of Samsung Electronics America. On a global basis, Mr. Weedfald will work closely with Eric Kim, the company's chief marketing officer, based in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. Weedfald is charged with integrating the company's marketing and advertising efforts as effectively as possible. "The company was looking for someone to bring together all of the pieces. ... We have `wow' technology that's easy to use, elegant design and a company that's interested in being best of breed and better priced," he said. His goal as brand evangelist is to look at Samsung's marketing holistically, unifying the look and feel of the company's communications and overseeing deployment of its media dollars.

Samsung's partner in the process is Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, its global agency for the past year, and in-house unit Cheil Communications, which handles product advertising. Quelling rumors of discontent with FCB, Mr. Weedfald, who's been on the job for nearly four months, said, "FCB is not in danger. I am very happy to work with FCB." In late spring, the agency will launch the most integrated marketing campaign that Samsung has ever had. The effort is expected to hit May monthly magazines initially.

Fast Facts

Name: Peter Weedfald

Age: 47

Now: VP-marketing communications and new media, Samsung Electronics

Challenge: To get the entire Samsung organization fired up about consumer-centric marketing.

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