Samsung axes head office PR

Samsung, the South Korean manufacturing group, is to axe its European corporate communications department as part of a round of 33 redundancies announced at its European headquarters this week.

Samsung, the South Korean manufacturing group, is to axe its

European corporate communications department as part of a round of 33

redundancies announced at its European headquarters this week.



The company has yet to decide whether to retain or terminate its

corporate PR account with Paragon Communications, which the agency has

held since early 1995.



Samsung, which is feeling the effect of the financial crisis in Asia, is

making cuts by removing regional tiers of management. Some

responsibilities will be devolved to country level and others

centralised at its world-wide headquarters in Korea.



European corporate communications director Shin Jae Kim, who oversees a

team of three, will return to the company’s headquarters. Samsung is

trying to find him and others facing redundancy a post elsewhere in the

organisation.



Corporate communications manager Andrew Morrison has been made redundant

and will leave at the end of February. Samsung’s internal corporate

communications manager Susan Hollingsworth left in December to join law

firm Nabarro Nathanson. She will not be replaced.



Samsung began cutting back on its PR agency spending last year.

Shandwick International’s work for the company in France was scaled

back, and the company dropped Burson-Marsteller in Poland and Progress

Promotion in Slovakia.



Shandwick International still handle PR for Samsung in Spain and in

Germany, where the company also retains Text 100. These accounts report

to Samsung’s local offices, according to Morrison.



The company is also looking at ways to cut back its regional corporate

structures in Asia and the Americas. PR for these regions is not handled

in-house, but by Korean PR, advertising and marketing agency Cheil

Communications.



Samsung has yet to decide whether to terminate its accounts with

Cheil.



Meanwhile the company has split its consumer and business-to-business

account for Samsung Electronics UK, following a refocusing of the firm’s

sales and marketing division.



Specialist consumer technology agency Complete Marketing Communications

will manage press and publicity for Samsung Electronic UK’s consumer

goods while Catalyst Communications has been appointed to handle

business-to-business PR for the firm’s computer and telecoms

products.



Charles Barker, which previously handled the account, did not

re-pitch.



Leader, p9.



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