$500 Mil. Samsung to Starcom

NEW YORK South Korean electronics giant Samsung has awarded its global media chores to Publicis Groupe’s Starcom following a review, according to sources.

WPP Group’s MindShare has handled media in about 60 markets, including broadcast buying in the U.S., where the client spent $140 million on all ads in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Samsung also handled some chores, such as domestic print buying, in-house.

Samsung’s estimated annual global ad spend exceeds $500 million.

Starcom sibling Leo Burnett is Samsung’s lead creative agency. Both of those shops are in Chicago. It was unclear if Starcom was already on the client’s roster for media duties.

MindShare and Starcom competed in the review for global chores; other contenders could not be determined.

Two years ago, Samsung stripped WPP shops Berlin Cameron United and JWT of creative and account planning duties. The shakeout occurred less than a year after the client held a global holding-company review that was won by a WPP team that also included MindShare and Wunderman (which took media and direct marketing duties, respectively). Those two shops were able to retain their assignments while global creative and account planning were shifted to Leo Burnett without a review.

MindShare and Starcom could not immediately be reached.

A client rep at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Ridgefield Park, N.J., did not return calls. Corporate executives in South Korea couldn’t be reached.