Samsung picks FCB for $400 million account

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True North Communications' FCB Worldwide won Samsung Electronics' estimated $400 million global advertising account after a lengthy review, according to people familiar with the situation.Samsung, on the hunt for an agency with a global network to elevate its brand stature, had also considered Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide during the review.

Samsung executives did not return calls at deadline. FCB executives declined to comment.

Ogilvy's work for IBM Corp. and its win this fall of Motorola discounted it from serious consideration, though the agency tried through its Milan, Italy-based Conquest to circumvent the conflict (AA, August 28).Interpublic's AG Worldwide, New York, which has handled Samsung's consumer electronics and wireless telecommunications advertising and selected brand assignments, also participated in the review. That account ranges from $25 million to $50 million.AG may retain a role as a consultant on the account, said another person familiar with the matter.

FCB's win of the South Korean electronics giant might create some conflicts with client Compaq Computer Corp. FCB Worldwide, New York, won Compaq's estimated $350 million global account in April. Compaq and Samsung compete in various product segments including the emerging market for Internet appliances and mobile devices.Compaq executives apparently have deep-seated concerns that may extend beyond the conflict issue, according to a person close to the situation. Compaq executives did not return calls at deadline.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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