TriHonda Sends $45 Million U.S. Media Account to Horizon

Incumbent Spark Foundry did not defend

TriHonda has an annual paid media budget of $45 million.
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TriHonda Dealer Group, which consists of more than 60 New York, New Jersey and Connecticut-area Honda dealerships, confirmed to Adweek that it has chosen Horizon Media as its lead media agency following a review that started in November.

It is unclear which agencies competed against Horizon, although a source close to the matter said some three to four shops were involved. Another source previously said that TriHonda’s incumbent media agency Spark Foundry declined to defend the account, but that the agency would continue to work with Honda dealerships across the U.S.

A Spark Foundry spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

“We were with [Spark] for six years … it was just time for a review,” said Rob Sabbagh, president of the dealer group. “We had a great partnership with Spark, but the two parties just decided it was best to move on.”

Sabbagh declined to comment further, adding Horizon would be making a public statement about the win soon. The agency did not immediately return a request for comment.

A spokesperson for consultancy R3, which reportedly managed the review, deferred comment to TriHonda.

Honda is estimated to spend about $600 million on marketing in the U.S. annually. One source told Adweek that TriHonda alone has an annual paid media budget of $45 million.

The last time TriHonda launched an RFP was in 2012, when it handed its creative and media business to Publicis Kaplan Thaler and MediaVest, respectively. Spark Foundry later picked up the media account.

The win comes after Horizon lost the media business of Jack in the Box in October to Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat L.A. and the U.S. division of international telecom conglomerate Altice just last week to WPP’s Wavemaker. Horizon did, however, pick up the significantly larger business of UnitedHealth Group in February.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.