Cheil Worldwide (Korea)

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Cheil Worldwide is South Korea's leading advertising agency, more than three times the size by billings of its nearest domestic rival. Like many of South Korea's leading agencies it began life as a subsidiary of one of the chaebol, the diversified industrial conglomerates who have traditionally driven the Korean economy. Cheil's biggest individual shareholder is Samsung, undoubtedly the country's most powerful business. Cheil's size derives largely from the fact that it supervises much of the global Samsung Electronics account, often in partnership with local agencies. Since 2008 it has set out to strengthen its profile through the recruitment of experienced non-Korean executives and selective strategic acquisitions of Western agencies, such as Barbarian Group and McKinney in the US, BMB in the UK and global network Iris in 2014.

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Who are the competitors of Cheil Worldwide? See Top Advertising Groups and Leading Agencies in Korea

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

Cheil Worldwide website




BMB McKinney
Barbarian Group Iris

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "Fan The Fire: Nishchay Luthra". When it comes to global sportswear, football, basketball, tennis, all those big budget sports aren't the only game in town. Adidas has a new campaign out of Cheil celebrating what is probably India's only champion ice-skater. Nishchay Luthra is currently in training in the US for the 2018 Winter Olympics, all on his own, but with strong moral support from his mother and now a powerful endorsement from Adidas. Go Nishchay! 

Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jan 2016: It seems Maurice Levy still hasn't learned any lessons from Publicis Groupe's organic growth drought. Rather than focus on boosting new business and creative output, he's still distracted by acquisitions. According to Bloomberg, the group is currently considering an offer to acquire a 30% holding in Korean advertising network Cheil, the main custodian of Samsung's global marketing. Publicis-controlled Leo Burnett is also one of Samsung's main global agencies. Such a deal could cost Publicis between $550 and $600m. The group is already well on course to deliver the worst organic growth figures for 2015 of any of the major marketing groups, with virtually all increases in revenues driven purely by acquisition. With most of the group's agencies already distracted by acquisitions already made this year and by the new round of restructuring unveiled last month, this is not the right time to launch yet another deal. Put your chequebook away Maurice.

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Jan 2015: Hot on the heels of the appointment of growth officer Lotta Malm Hallqvist last week, Cheil Worldwide continued to ramp up its global management team with the appointment of Malcolm Poynton, the former Ogilvy and SapientNitro creative leader, as global chief creative officer. Like Hallqvist, he will be based in Cheil's London offices, rapidly becoming a a key global focal point for the Korean network. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Jan 2015: There was also a key development at Cheil Worldwide, clearly positioning itself as a significant challenger to Western advertising networks. The Korean agency, part-owned by Samsung, recruited McCann Worldgroup's global chief growth officer Lotta Malm Hallqvist to fulfill the same role at Cheil, a newly created position. She said "I am truly impressed with the Korean approach to business - the 'nothing is impossible' attitude and the focus on opportunities over problems. It's a privilege to be part of the next chapter for Cheil, joining the team behind one of the strongest brands on the planet." 

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Dec 2014: Korean group Cheil has acquired a significant minority shareholding in UK-headquartered integrated network Iris Worldwide. Full details of the deal have not been disclosed, but Cheil is understood to be buying out all the shares previously held by US media group Meredith Corporation, and has an option to take full control within five years. Meredith's MXM marketing division secured a shareholding in Iris in 2011, but the visible benefits of that partnership have been limited. Meanwhile Cheil has been steadily building a presence in key Western markets through self-branded offices in the US and UK and elsewhere but also through selected acquisitions such as McKinney in the US and BMB in the UK. However, the purchase of Iris, with 17 offices around the globe, would represent its most significant deal to-date. Cheil's biggest global client is its former parent Samsung.

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