Samsung Electronics Calls Global Ad Review

Process will take up to three months

Samsung Electronics has begun a global review of its creative, digital and media business, sources said.

The South Korean company spent a whopping $14 billion worldwide on advertising and marketing in 2013, three times more than it invested in 2012, according to a Cellular News report. That figure, however, goes well beyond media spending and may include, for example, the cost of marketing deals with telecommunications companies. In the U.S. alone, the brand's media spending approached $615 million last year, up from about $595 million in 2012 and $265 million in 2011, according to Kantar Media.

Of course, Samsung has a vast portfolio of products that range from cell phones and digital cameras to PCs, laptops, tablets, printers, televisions and appliances.

The creative business is currently split among agencies like Cheil, 72andSunny, Leo Burnett and McKinney, with digital handled by shops like R/GA and Razorfish. Starcom is the company’s global media partner.

In December, Samsung hired S.P. Kim as its new chief marketing officer. He was previously president, CEO of Samsung Electronics Europe and has been charged with reviewing all of the company's marketing and media relationships.

Sources said the search process, covering business in 65 countries, is focused on industry holding companies and agencies have just been contacted. The process is expected to last up to three months.

The consultancy R3 is managing the search, according to sources. Neither consultancy nor Samsung could immediately be reached.