Samsung and Publicis Expand Partnership as Leo Burnett Takes Over Global Creative TV Duties

The shop was named lead agency solution for visual display

Samsung hands $750 million global creative account for its TV business to Leo Burnett.
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Samsung has awarded more work to Publicis Groupe, expanding its existing partnership with the holding company, by naming Leo Burnett lead agency solution for its global visual display business (meaning TVs) following a review.

Leo Burnett said in a statement that Publicis-owned Starcom will provide media planning and buying “expertise” on the business as Samsung’s global media agency of record. Together, the agencies will handle global brand positioning, integrated communications strategy and creative for the division, with new work to support Samsung’s QLED TVs, which are expected to launch in early 2019.

“Samsung Electronics has been working with Publicis Groupe agencies for more than a decade and we are thrilled to grow our successful partnership,” Songha Ji, vice president of visual display, Samsung Electronics, said in a statement. “Publicis Groupe’s creative track record and expansive geographic reach are key to our success as we create work that is globally relevant for the visual display business.”

A person familiar with the matter said adam&eveDDB used to handle the global creative account for the QLED TV business and competed to defend in the recent review. Despite losing the global business, the agency said in a statement to Adweek that it will still hold onto the U.S. QLED creative account.

Leo Burnett first joined Samsung’s roster of agencies in 2004, and said in a statement that it has worked across various parts of the business since that time including for the mobile division, global marketing center and on individual markets worldwide. The work Publicis handles for the tech giant spans 75 global markets.

Samsung spends $3 billion annually on measured media worldwide, with 25 percent of that concentrated on its TV business, according to research firm R3. Samsung is one of R3’s clients.

Matt Blackborn, Samsung global client leader at Publicis Groupe, touted the holding company’s Power of One strategy for the latest win. As part of its massive restructuring sparked in 2015, Publicis placed all its agency brands into divisions, Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient, Publicis Healthcare and later Publicis Spine, and called the new integrated model “the Power of One.”

“We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity to expand our relationship with Samsung and to develop ever-more integrated and impactful work for one of our longstanding clients,” Blackborn said in a statement.

Mark Tutssel, executive chairman and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, claimed we are living “in a golden age of content in which the screen reigns supreme,” and added “it’s a great honor” to partner with one of the leaders in the visual display space.


@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.
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