Cheil plans to step out of Samsungs shadow in India

Written by Alokananda Chakraborty | New Delhi, Jul 13 | Updated: Jul 14 2007, 06:34am hrs
Cheil Communications, the in-house advertising agency of the Samsung Group, is trying to step out of the shadow of Big Brother in India. As a first step, the Seoul-headquartered agency has roped in Prathap Suthan, who was until recently the national creative director at Grey Worldwide India, as creative chief. Jaisang Ryu, managing director, told FE, We are always looking for excellent people and new growth avenues. The change in focus in India is in line with Cheils global shift in strategy. In recent years, Cheil-it is South Korea's largest advertising agency and was ranked 16th in the world by Advertising Age in 2006-has actively solicited a number of non-Samsung clients back home, including Korea Telecom, GM, Daewoo and Ssangyong Motor Company.

In fact, prior to the launch of Innocean, the in-house agency of Hyundai Motor, in India, Cheil also serviced a part of the Hyundai business in the country (brand Accent for a year and the launch campaign of Tucson), pointed out Ryu. Cheil currently has one office in India-in Delhi-which is manned by around 45 people. Its current creative team of nine handles the Rs 120-crore advertising chores-including creative, media, retail and below-the-line activities-of Samsung in India.

Cheil will pitch for non-Samsung businesses and step out of Delhi by the end of 2007, Ryu indicated. To put things in perspective, Cheil began its stint in India as Samsungs liaison office. By end-2003 Cheil began to shed its liaison status in its bid to evolve into a full-service agency.