Samsung Expands Agency Roster, Tapping WPP Team and Razorfish

Shops Have Been Tasked to Handle B-to-B, Digital Duties

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Samsung is shaking up its agency roster, expanding its relationship to include two new shops to handle advertising duties.

As reported last month, the electronics maker was conducting a search for an agency to help with its global b-to-b marketing strategy. Ad Age has learned that at the conclusion of that pitch, Samsung selected WPP to form a dedicated team to handle the account. Separately, Publicis Groupe -owned Razorfish has been announced as Samsung's new digital agency of record.

The WPP win ends a review process that began in September, and is yet another example of the growing popularity of brands using dedicated agency teams. The team approach is also an area WPP has been especially focused on this year, using the structure to win new business and also circumvent client conflicts.

Although the pitch originally invited WPP's network Ogilvy to participate, a team solution including several different shops from WPP was presented to Samsung. That tactic beat out a group of contenders which included incumbents Cheil and Publicis Groupe 's Leo Burnett, according to people familiar with the matter.

When reached, two Samsung representatives were unable to confirm the WPP win.

However, Samsung Telecommunications America did announce Publicis Groupe 's Razorfish as the brand's new agency of record for digital.

"We picked Razorfish as our digital AOR because they demonstrate the innovative thinking that we value in our agencies," said Brian Wallace, Samsung's VP-marketing, in a statement. "We know Razorfish understands how to translate complex issues into unique and engaging customer experiences."

Previously, Samsung had been working with fellow Publicis agency Denuo for its line of Galaxy smartphones, but chose Razorfish to scale those campaigns.

Razorfish's work on the account -- which has already begun -- is currently breaking into the marketplace via all digital channels.

Samsung is a large marketer, and while much of its advertising for mobile phones especially has been more visible, it decreased its U.S. ad spending by 12.1% in 2011 (from to $476.3 million from $542 the year prior) according to Ad Age Datacenter.

Contributing: Alexandra Bruell, Rupal Parekh
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