Doc Hollywood, Lulama Wolf, Samsung In Its Infancy

My cousin Hanna Young is dressed for work in a hazmat suit. She is a clinical psychiatric social worker and six of her patients have Covid. That’s what I call dedication.

Eliot bought this for me in Paris. It will hang over our bed. @lulamawolf is the artist. She is from Johannesburg and she exudes style in her presentation and in her work.

#tbt Throwback Thursday

By Lois Whitman-Hess

If Samsung John Grundy didn’t speak up to the Korean marketing folks in Ridgefield Park, NJ, decades ago, chances are the company would still be making inferior products. I will never forget that day. I was getting berated by the MarCom people my agency, HWH PR, reported to in one of the conferences rooms. The Koreans were very upset with me because I pulled a magazine product review from being published. The editors of the magazine called me to say the product was a dud. They offered to nix the review because they didn’t want to embarrass Samsung and HWH.

I agreed to it. When I delivered the news to Samsung, the executives were furious with me. I will never forget the anger on their faces. After all, Samsung Korea, wanted Samsung United States, to secure product reviews in the big name publications. That was the most important mission assigned to the NJ marketing folks, and I had just ruined one of the first opportunities to make that happen.

I was startled that my clients didn’t understand that a bad review could have been a major setback for the growth of the company. They just kept telling me that I made a wrong decision and how disappointed they were. Their scolding lasted about a half hour when all of a sudden, John Grundy, one of the young American product executives, (who I didn’t even know at the time) stood up and told the MarCom staff how foolish they were. With a stern voice, he explained the ramifications of a bad review and how they should be thanking me instead of verbally beating me up.

The room went silent for about two minutes. It seemed like forever. It was rare, and probably forbidden, for an American executive to question, or criticize, a Korean counterpart, especially in public. Grundy didn’t care. He couldn’t stand listening to the ignorance. I was thrilled because Grundy was far more respected than I was. We were both trying to do the best for the company,

The MarCom people finally understood the consequences. Soon after that, Samsung established a product quality control department and those folks (from Korea) worked very closely with HWH PR. VP Russ Rowland of HWH was instrumental in helping Samsung win “Editors Choice Awards” for years to come. This new department was so thankful to HWH for helping them achieve greatness that they would issue us bonus checks twice a year. We continued to represent Samsung for 17 years.

This is not the first time I have told this story. I have thanked John Grundy a few times but it will never be enough. I know the names of everyone in that room when this situation occurred. I just didn’t feel it was necessary to reveal who they were.

Thank you John Grundy. Thank you Russ Rowland.

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