Continuing to shine well north of its Los Angeles home, Suissa Miller has landed the consolidated ad account of the California State Automobile Association.
The CSAA, which is based in San Francisco and services Northern California, Utah and Nevada, tapped the agency without a review. The business is worth about $20 million.
Highway One in San Francisco previously handled the account, which it shared at one time with crosstown shop TBWA\Chiat\Day. Executives at the latter said they resigned the account in August 1999.
Suissa Miller will handle all creative and media tasks for the client.
"We were very impressed with their outstanding creative team. They also have a very solid track record of building business over time with their clients," said Don Patton, CSAA's vp of membership and marketing.
CSAA is a regional division of the American Auto mobile Association (AAA). It provides its members with insurance, travel advice and roadside assistance, among other services.
Suissa Miller was involved in the 1999 review that saw Highway One join TBWA\C\D on the account.
Grey Worldwide in Los Angeles handles the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The win keeps Suissa Miller in gear in Northern California, where it has found success of late. The agency recently landed Princess Cruises and E&J Gallo Winery.
As a result of the growth, Suissa Miller is opening a satellite office in San Francisco. It will be headed by group account director France Viana.
Agency partner and creative director David Suissa said the auto club win fits well with the agency's long-term plans.
"We're getting more and more business up north, and that is great," Suissa said. "That's a nice critical mass." In particular, he called the CSAA win a "nice coup."
Opening a field office seems to confirm what many sources have noted: that Suissa Miller is making a quiet but concerted effort to beef up its presence in the Bay Area.
"It's one of the best runs in the city," said one source of the new business the agency has reeled in. "There aren't many agencies that have had the run they have had."
Suissa Miller's other Northern California clients include Cal-Fed and Mervyn's. Its local roster includes Boston Markets, SkyTel, Beech Nut Baby Food and Global P.C.