Suissa to Get Acura Dealer Marketing Work

Suissa Miller, agency of record for American Honda Motor Co.’s Acura division, will handle a new dealer marketing program for the luxury line that is currently in the works, the Torrance, Calif.-based client confirmed.
While all of the details have not yet been worked out, Honda spokesman Mike Spencer said the Acura initiative would employ a “relevance-based marketing” scheme modeled after the dealer program the company established for its Honda division, which is handled by Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.
Asked whether Suissa would handle the business, he said, “That’s the plan as of right now. It is a continuation of ongoing regional marketing for Suissa.”
RPA and Suissa Miller were said to be vying for the new Acura business, which, when fully implemented, could reach more than $70 million in billings, according to sources. Honda executive vice president Thomas Elliott favored keeping all of the Acura work at one shop, sources said.
The dealer effort “would be a program that can be tailored to meet specific regional requirements,” said Spencer. He said the plan will likely be finalized in the next few weeks.
Suissa Miller will have to work quickly, according to sources, as the automaker wants to have a framework in place for Acura’s regional dealer marketing by April. Agency executives referred calls to the client.
Gerry Rubin, RPA president and chief executive officer, expressed disappointment that his agency was not selected to execute the dealer program for Acura, noting that his shop already has the infrastructure in place for Honda.
Acura had a dealer marketing program in place a few years ago, when the then $40 million account was handled by Ketchum. It was comprised of six sales regions around the country. Zone managers headed up local marketing efforts, and sales and marketing support staff coordinated national and local merchandising and promotional programs.