Samsung reviews kicks into high gear

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[New York] The next global review at holding company level following the awarding last week of HSBC's $500 million account to WPP Group is in full swing. This month Samsung is assessing the capabilities and offerings in key markets around the world of each of the Big Four holding companies vying for Samsung's global account worth up to $700 million. The incumbent agencies, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding and Initiative Media, are pitching with Interpublic's McCann Relationship Marketing Partners Worldwide and Interpublic-owned PR and event and sponsorship companies. At Publicis Groupe, Leo Burnett and Starcom will be in the forefront with Samsung, possibly aided by Saatchi & Saatchi and its CEO Kevin Roberts. Publicis chairman-CEO Maurice Levy is heavily involved with the Samsung review, as is WPP Group's Chief Executive Martin Sorrell, who is fielding J. Walter Thompson, Red Cell and MindShare working with Group M. At Omnicom Group, BBDO Worldwide is the lead agency. A decision is expected by the end of June after final presentations in either Seoul or New York.
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