GIIR / HS Ad (Korea)

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GIIR is now South Korea's third largest marketing group (after Cheil and Hyundai-owned Innocean), built around the core agency previously known as LG Ad, now HS Ad. It was originally the inhouse agency for LG Group but was spun out as an independent business in 2002 as part of a restructuring of LG's labyrinthine interlinked holdings. In 2002, part of LG's equity stake was acquired by WPP, and most of the remaining shares issued in an IPO. LG reacquired a 35% holding in 2008. WPP still has just under 30%, held via the Cavendish Square Holdings company. Although nominally separate from LG Group, the agency is still located in one of LG's corporate headquarters and oversees advertising for several of the group's home appliances, household products and personal care subsidiaries. GIIR was established in 2004 as a holding company, with the aim of reducing the reliance on LG Group and another client, GS Group, which was itself spun off from the original LG conglomerate. GIIR grew through a combination of acquisition and launch, building up a small portfolio of other companies. However virtually all of these were sold, closed or consolidated in 2010 or 2011 into either HS Ad or sister integrated agency LBest. GIIR keeps a comparatively low profile outside Korea, but has its own offices in more than 30 countries, including all major advertising markets. Sung Su Jung is group CEO. Group billings were approx $465m in 2019, with gross profit (revenues) of around $143m.

Capsule checked 9th June 2020

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