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Starcom set to take $600m Samsung global media

LONDON - Samsung, the electrical goods and mobile phone manufacturer, is understood to have handed its $600m (£285m) global media buying account to Publicis Groupe-owned Starcom, following a head-to-head pitch against incumbent WPP Group's MindShare.

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The deal, which is believed to cover around 60 markets, consolidates Publicis's relationship with the Korean technology giant. Starcom's sister agency Leo Burnett handles its global creative work.

When Leo Burnett won the work two years ago, it was also at the expense of WPP. It replaced WPP's Berlin Cameron United and JWT, which had worked for Samsung for less than a year.

Starcom had previously been unable to pitch for the account because of a conflict of interest, having worked on the Sony account in a number of Asian markets. However, a regional pitch was announced by Sony earlier this year, without Starcom's involvement, paving the way to bid for the Samsung work.

Starcom is expected to work alongside Cheil Communications, an Asian-based advertising agency that handles marketing for Samsung.

This latest deal comes as Samsung announces plans to beef up production facilities in China and Vietnam in an attempt to manufacture 25m more mobile phone handsets in 2008 and narrow the gap to market leader Nokia.

Starcom and MindShare were unavailable for comment.

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