Honda Shuffle Could Give RPA A Shot At Acura

With a single executive now in charge of both the Honda and Acura brands, sources said last week American Honda Co. may consider changes in its dual agency setup. Among the possibilities is a consolidation of media duties on the $420 million U.S. account.
Honda executive vice president Richard Colliver has added the duties of Acura executive vice president Richard Thomas, who moves to a new post at Honda. “Colliver will be responsible for making sure the two distinct divisions work hand in hand,” said Koichi Amemiya, president at Torrance, Calif.-based Honda.
Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., handles all duties for Honda. Suissa and Western International Media, both Los Angeles, handle Acura’s creative and media duties, respectively.
“They could put all network buying at [RPA] and spot buying at Western,” said one source.
The elevation of Colliver could give RPA an opening to pitch the $100 million Acura account via a separate unit. RPA proposed a similar plan during the 1996 review, which it lost.
The move by the client comes just as Suissa breaks nine TV spots for Acura’s 1999 models, which were well received by dealers at a meeting last week, said sources.
One spot for the TL series sedan shows a year in the life of a young couple–from honeymoon to the birth of their first child–and highlights the car’s satellite navigation system. Another touts the car as a powerful and sporty luxury sedan. Agency executives and American Honda declined comment. –with David Kiley