UPDATED: Brand Exits LG After False Marketing Fiasco
Also gone from the company is Carli Wilson, the Marketing Manager of LG’s struggling LG Communications Division.
David Brand, who joined LG three years ago from the liquor industry, was already under a cloud with the company facing million dollar fines over dodgy marketing claims. The exit follows the resignation two months ago of Stan Belinski, the AV Marketing Manager who quit days out from the launch of the company’s 3D TV range.
The shock exit of several senior executives follows the recent appointment of William Cho, the former President and CEO of LG Canada, as Chief Executive of LG Australia.
Brand who was attempting to shift the LG brand into the mainstream lifestyle market, has been responsible for several big marketing flops including the launch of several new LG phones at lavish events attended by the likes of Chris Noth of Sex And The City fame.
During the past year LG phones have lost market share to arch rival Samsung, as well as Apple and HTC.
Brand refused to do media interviews with appliance or consumer technology, or channel media despite requests to explain LG’s “shocking” track record which has resulted in the company being fined millions for false marketing claims during his tenure at the company.
Last year, LG Australia was fined $3 million for falsifying claims about their air conditioners, and is now facing a potential $4 million fine for falsifying claims about their refrigerators.
ChannelNews has been told that legal representatives for LG Electronics have met recently with ACCC executives in an attempt to minimise possible fines.
In one statement issued by Brand he said: “Our research shows that there are still a great many consumers out there who view the brand as favourable. You have to accept that when you are selling such a big range as what LG Australia does, that problems will occasionally occur. We are not going to shy away from our responsibilities and as such we have offered compensation to people affected.”
During his rocky career at LG, Brand has overseen a total restructure of their marketing operations in an effort to compete with a surging Samsung.
Early in 2008, Brand was told by his corporate masters in Korea that he had to appoint WPP group agencies in Australia. This resulted in Mindshare taking responsibility for media planning and buying. George Patterson Y&R were appointed to handle above-the-line advertising duties, while Publicis Mojo’s digital arm Publicis Digital, were appointed to manage website and digital marketing.
The global realignment saw Singleton Ogilvy & Mather, which had LG’s account for 10 years, dumped.
In December, Brand was forced to dump PR Company Burson Marsteller in favour of a new agency called LG One, which was run by a consortium between Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Hill and Knowlton.
In May 2009 Brand terminated the sponsorship of the Cronulla Sharks.
In a statement issued late today LG said “LG Electronics Australia can confirm David Brand, marketing director, left LG Electronics Australia on July 15th, 2010. In a mutual agreement with the Korean electronics giant, David’s three-year tenure at LG has concluded after a period of success and growth for all divisions of the company.
“David came on board in 2007 and has had a profound influence over LG Australia’s marketing activities” said William Cho, Managing Director, LG Electronics Australia. “His efforts to enhance LG’s brand within the local market have been heavily valued by all parts of the business. We thank David for his hard work and wish him well for his future endeavours.”