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
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
Samsung has yet to decide whether to terminate its accounts with
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
Charles Barker, which previously handled the account, did not