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Shop On the Rebound

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Suissa Wins 4 More; Recoups Acura Losses
LOS ANGELES--This summer, the future looked bleak for Suissa Miller when Acura moved its $150 million account, which accounted for half the agency's total billings. Rebounding from such a devastating loss is a daunting task, and some shops never fully recover.
Last week, Bruce Miller, agency president, admitted to feeling queasy, but not because of any more bad news. Quite the opposite: He was reacting to the agency's recent new-business streak, as it picked up four accounts in four days that totalled $50-60 million in billings. He compared the feeling to that of eating too much chocolate. The shop won creative and media duties for California Federal Bank, Strong Capital Management and UB Networks, and creative duties for Edmunds.com (media went to Starcom's San Francisco office).
Richards/Gravelle in Dallas previously was lead agency on Cal Fed, San Francisco, but resigned the estimated $25 million business this summer. Suissa Miller beat San
Francisco shops Blazing Paradigm, Highway One and Leagas Delaney, and Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif., said sources.
In the Edmunds.com review, the shop prevailed over L.A. agencies Campbell-Ewald, DDB and Ogilvy & Mather, and one undisclosed other, sources said. "Bruce and David [Suissa] are true brand stewards," said Avi Steinlauf, vp, marketing. "They have a keen understanding of what we're all about."
Edmunds.com is a consumer resource for automotive information, for which Suissa Miller will create an integrated campaign for the first quarter, Steinlauf said.
For Strong, the L.A. agency competed against Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; Publicis & Hal Riney in Chicago; and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, among others.
Finally, Internet-modem maker UB Networks hired Suissa Miller over Dailey & Associates, DDB and Foote, Cone & Belding. "We have tremendous confidence in [Suissa Miller's] brand-building capabilities," said Jerry Pulley, UB evp, marketing.
Those gains, plus a few earlier wins, bring Suissa's billings to about $235 million as it moves closer to its prior peak of $310 million. K