We Hear: Samsung Moves Global Social Media Duties From Big Spaceship to R/GA

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Electronics giant Samsung has made a change in its agency roster, no longer counting Brooklyn-based Big Spaceship as its global social media AOR.

Multiple parties have told us that the business went to R/GA in late 2016, though we have been unable to officially confirm that fact and have not heard any details regarding the review that allegedly preceded the shift. We should also note that Samsung has not ended its relationship with Big Spaceship, which will continue handling unspecified per-project digital work.

An agency spokesperson wrote, “we’ve been a retained agency partner for the last three years. Going forward we will continue to work with [Samsung], but now on a project basis, which doesn’t require us to maintain a presence in Seoul.”

The Brooklyn-based independent shop, which WPP reportedly tried to buy for $12.5 million more than four years ago, initially won the business in a 2013 review and went on to open an office in Seoul, South Korea to more directly serve the client.

Big Spaceship later helped launch the Samsung Note 4 with the “It Doesn’t Take a Genius” campaign, the most visible work it has produced for the client to date. That anti-Apple effort scored one million views in less than an hour, earned coverage on almost every tech site and led Mediapost to name Big Spaceship as its social media agency of the year for 2014.

In 2015 and 2016, respectively, the agency hired Cedric DeVitt as its first chief creative officer and promoted Mother/BBDO veteran Rob Thorsen to become its first president.

The agency’s PR team did not elaborate on the events that led up to this change or its effects on the internal team.  According to our sources, the Seoul office closed in December, and the shop had to let a significant portion of its Samsung team go.

An R/GA spokesperson repeatedly deferred to the client for comment, and Samsung corporate has not responded to our queries regarding the status of its social media business. Several parties outside the R/GA organization, however, told us that the agency will lead that portion of the global Samsung account moving forward.

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