Suissa Miller is shoring up its estimated $125 million Acura business by attracting high-profile creative talent to the account team.
Among its newest hires are Nigel Williams, a creative director who worked on Nissan at TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and Ken Pappanduros, a senior copywriter from that agency's San Francisco office.
Suissa Miller principal and executive creative director David Suissa called the new hires "routine." But sources close to the Los Angeles shop said it is preparing for a possible showdown with Rubin Postaer, longtime agency for the Honda division of Acura parent American Honda Motor Co., for some or all of the Acura account or a new dealer marketing account for the nameplate.
Richard Colliver, Honda executive vice president, in September was named to head both the Honda and Acura divisions, and there has been speculation ever since that Rubin Postaer could get some or all of the Acura business.
Sources close to Rubin Postaer said the shop has been quietly developing a plan to take on Acura regional dealer marketing duties under a similar structure as its Honda dealer group, RP alpha.
Rubin Postaer executives denied they are gearing up for Acura business. Honda executives said there is no plan to shift the account or establish an Acura regional dealer marketing effort.
Eric Conn, Honda's senior manager, national advertising, said, "If something is going on [regarding Acura dealer marketing], it's in the planning stages" and would have to be "communicated to dealers" before it was approved. He also expressed his support for Suissa Miller.