Samsung Signs Deutsch for B-to-B Work, Expanding Roster Yet Again

Previously handled by consumer agencies

As major marketers like Microsoft and Kraft have moved toward consolidating their advertising business at fewer agencies, others have gone in the opposite direction, expanding their rosters and redistributing assignments among more shops.

Samsung is a classic example. In the fall, the company added four agencies to its global lineup, and now it has hired Deutsch to focus on business-to-business advertising in the U.S., confirmed Ed Abrams, vp of marketing in Samsung's enterprise business unit. It's a significant assignment and represents the Interpublic Group shop's introduction to the global brand.

Previously, b-to-b ads were created by consumer marketing shops like 72andSunny. With an agency now focused solely on such work, the company hopes to accelerate the sales of its lesser known printers, monitors, mobile systems and video displays.

"The company is investing heavily in building out its b-to-b capabilities, and that buildout now expands to a dedicated marketing initiative," a source said.

Samsung declined to discuss media spending behind the assignment, but sources put it at $25 million to $30 million. Account revenue is estimated at $5 million.

Abrams, a former longtime marketing leader at IBM who joined Samsung in August 2014, also considered FCB, Leo Burnett and Publicis for the assignment, according to sources.

Deutsch will run the business out of its New York office, where other top accounts include PNC, Johnson & Johnson and Outback Steakhouse. The new agency's first work is expected to break in the third quarter of the year.

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