RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ: Samsung Electronics America is in the midst of an agency search for four of its divisions - corporate communications, consumer electronics, IT, and telecommunications.HWH PR currently handles PR for consumer electronics and IT, while Publicis Dialog oversees PR for telecommunications.
Corporate communications in North America is not "officially" handled by any agency of record, explained Tara O'Donnell, senior manager of North American corporate communications. In the US, Samsung relies on HWH and Publicis, and other agencies on a project basis, for corporate communications.
Edelman handles global corporate communications for Samsung's Korean headquarters, but that does not include North American corporate communications, O'Donnell said.
"Samsung has elevated the brand in the US over the past five years, and we intend to accelerate brand awareness by increasing PR synergy across all of the US divisions," said O'Donnell in an e-mail, of the decision to hold a review.
Ideally, the review will lead to one AOR in the US, O'Donnell added.
Samsung's two incumbent US AORs, HWH and Publicis, declined to comment. Samsung has worked with HWH for 17 years, and Publicis for nine.
Samsung plans to make a decision by late March.
Samsung's brand has soared in recent years. In the most recent Interbrand ranking of the top 100 global brands, Samsung entered the top 20 for the first time, surpassing consumer electronics stalwart Sony. Over the past few years, Samsung has posted the strongest gain in value of any global 100 brand, with a 186% surge.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Samsung made bold statements that it was going head-to-head with Apple Computer in 2006, with a major product and marketing push into digital video and audio products.
Also at CES, Samsung unveiled an 82-inch LCD television, among dozens of other products.