Samsung Confirms Shift to Burnett

NEW YORK Samsung today confirmed moving creative and account responsibilities on its global ad business to Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett. The client spends an estimated $400 million annually on worldwide advertising.

The move from WPP Group agencies Berlin Cameron/Red Cell (creative) and JWT (account planning and strategy) takes effect in early 2006, the client said in a statement.

Media chores and other marketing services remain at WPP shops Group M and Wunderman, respectively, the client said. Sources said the shift is being made without a review.

Berlin Cameron and Burnett could not immediately be reached for comment.

“It’s always disappointing when things don’t go well, but we’re a big company and have a lot of good things happening,” said JWT worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey, who cited campaigns the agency is about to launch for Ford and HSBC as examples. “Our philosophy is, to paraphrase the sports adage, ‘It’s hard to score if you’re not in the game.’ We’re in the game, we’re optimistic and we have enormous talent in our system who will deliver.”

Samsung said Burnett is developing a campaign in support of the client’s Torino Winter Olympic Games sponsorship. The company expects to place a range of television, print and outdoor ads in markets around the world. That work breaks early next year.

A team of WPP agencies won the account in November 2004 after a review in which the then incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding, defended with help from IPG siblings Futurebrand and MRM, the latter being part of McCann WorldGroup. Other participants were Leo Burnett, which pitched as a team with sibling Saatchi & Saatchi, and MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners.

Roughly a quarter of the media spending was in the U.S.

Berlin Cameron broke a campaign in the spring tagged “Imagine.”

One spot depicted a twenty-something guy signing for a neighbor’s package, opening it, discovering that it’s a flat-screen TV, mounting it on his wall and hosting parties where people ogle the set. Then one day his neighbor knocks on the door and asks, “Did you sign for a package?”

This story updates an item posted on Oct. 25 with Samsung’s confirmation, news of the upcoming campaign and Jeffrey’s comments.