NEW YORK — Samsung Electronics, which has been hit particularly hard by slumping smartphone sales, has decided to keep its mobile unit’s PR business with Edelman following a competitive agency review, the Holmes Report has learned.

Edelman has handled Samsung mobile’s global PR duties since early 2016. Samsung had moved its mobile business to Edelman, which also handles the company’s corporate communications, from previous partner FleishmanHillard. Since then the assignment has expanded considerably to include social and digital marketing, with the total value understood to be worth upwards of $20m per year.

Word that Edelman will be retaining the business comes roughly four months after the South Korean electronics giant — the world’s largest smartphone seller — started the review process, following a downturn in business during back-to-back quarters.

During 2018 as a whole, Samsung smartphone shipments dropped by 8%, while the larger smartphone industry experienced its worst year ever for shipments with global volumes down by 4.1%, according to the International Data Corporation.

Having pegged some of that slump to slow sales for its Galaxy S9 smartphone, Samsung has been trying to boost its mobile business with new products. The company is expected to launch a new series of Galaxy smartphones April 10. Samsung also unveiled new products in February, including a foldable smartphone that costs nearly $2,000.

Separately, Samsung Electronics America recently parted ways with its CMO Marc Mathieu. The former Unilever marketer spent four years with Samsung, which included helping the company emerge from its 2017 exploding battery crisis, which affected its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. 

Neither Edelman nor Samsung responded to request for comment at the time this story went live.