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Team WPP strikes again as it wins Samsung B2B

Which means precisely what, you may say, as it’s quite difficult to determine what’s a consumer product and what’s business to business in tech land these days.

Anyway, whatever it is, WPP has wrested some business (possibly a new range of products) from South Korean marcoms outfit Cheil Worldwide, which is still 15 per cent owned by Samsung. Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish has appointed as the tech giant’s global digital agency, which certainly is a substantial account. Samsung spends over $1bn a year on all media.

The win says a great deal of the tenacity of WPP and its indefatigable leader Sir Martin Sorrell (left). Some years ago, when the notion of pitching as a group was but a gleam in the sage of Farm Street’s eyes, WPP won the whole Samsung account from Cheil, then wholly-owned by Samsung.

The relationship rapidly unravelled with reports of WPP agencies feuding over who did what and who got the money for it (WPP agency bosses have their bottom lines to think of). WPP then had another go, setting up the short-lived Enfatico agency to handle Dell. That seems to have failed because nobody wanted to work for it.

But Sorrell, as so often, has had the last laugh. WPP teams, in their various guises (Team Detroit for Ford, Cavalry for Coors to name but two), are springing up like forest mushrooms in an Italian autumn.

As for the exact worth of the new account, we’ll have to see. But WPP will be sure to make the point to Samsung that, as we noted above, the line between consumer and B2B tech products these days is an exceedingly fine one.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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