INTERNATIONAL: Korean electronics giant reviews PR

SEOUL: Korea's second largest electronics firm, LG Electronics, is

carrying out a major global PR review with plans to more than double the

size of its external agency roster.



The firm has already boosted its roster in the past two months from

three agencies in India, China and Dubai to seven, now also covering

Thailand, Mexico, Panama and South Africa.



According to the firm's senior manager of brand communications, Eun-Soo

Lee, the aim is to establish local PR networks in 20 countries by the

end of 2004.



Among the agencies recently appointed as part of the review are

Fleishman-Hillard Vallun Wilkins in South Africa, RU&A Porter Novelli in

Panama and Corporate Voice Shandwick in India.



F-H Vallun Wilkins senior vice-president Michelle de Pons said: 'They

want us to add credibility to the LG Electronics brand through the

media. They have only focused on building the brand through advertising

so far.'



She added that F-H's brief in South Africa includes corporate, consumer

and technology PR.



'At the moment LG is seen as a consumer company and an air conditioning

firm, but they're looking to promote the rest of the business,' she

said.



LG Electronics also des-igns and manufactures TVs, monitors, home

appliances and a number of other multimedia devices.



The firm is launching a range of mobile phones next year.



The company is a subsidiary of South Korea's LG Group, but was founded

in 1958 as Goldstar.



It has made a number of moves to break into the mobile phone market,

forming alliances with troubled UK telecoms firm Marconi and Dutch

electronics firm Philips, as well as taking over the operations of

mobile phone operation LG Information & Communication.



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