At the opening party for ad agency Cheil Australia’s new offices today, the visiting global strategy officer said he wanted to see the agency double in size in a year.
The inhouse agency for Samsung, which has moved out of the electronics giant’s headquarters as part of a plan to become a multi-client agency, has grown from 10 staff a year ago to 45 on the back of Samsung business.
Bruce Haines, the former Leo Burnett London group CEO, said further growth this year would come from Samsung, which he said is growing “exponentially” in Australia – and new clients.
“For Samsung’s own sake, we need to win non-Samsung business,” he said. “We need to increase our client list, which will help us bring in a greater breadth of talent and start a virtuous circle.”
Haines said the agency would not be pursuing Leo Burnett’s hold on Samsung’s above the line business.
“Cheil and Leo Burnett offer complimentary skills. Leo Burnett is a very strong above the line agency, and rather than compete we have well defined areas of expertise.”
“Our strength is in knowing how retail and digital work together,” he said.
Cheil was the agency behind the virtual grocery store in a subway idea, which won the media grand prix at Cannes for Tesco last year.
Haines was hired from Leo Burnett London four years ago as Cheil’s first non-Korean boss with a brief to win non-Samsung clients, which he has done in key markets such as New York and London though a strategy of hiring local talent.
Haines hired former McCann executive Andrew Swinton a year ago to run Cheil Australia. Roy Faulkner was installed as the agency’s first creative director last week.