RPA Beats Odds to Keep Honda Brand

But shop loses media business, Acura

RPA has beaten the typically poor odds of an incumbent in an advertising review to retain creative responsibility for the Honda brand.

The shop, however, lost its American Honda Co. media business and creative efforts on the Honda sister brand Acura. Those accounts shifted to Publicis Groupe's MediaVest and Interpublic Group's Mullen, respectively, the automaker said.

Collectively, the two brands spend more than $800 million in media annually, according to Nielsen.

In a statement, Michael Accavitti, vp of national marketing operations, said, "We are confident that our new team of agencies will create dynamic marketing campaigns that connect and engage consumers with our products and brands, while achieving an even higher level of efficiency and effectiveness."

The selections came after a review in which there were separate but parallel pitches for the creative and media accounts. The creative pitch encompassed both Honda and Acura, but ultimately, the carmaker decided to split the assignments between two shops.

The other creative finalists were Interpublic's The Martin Agency and MDC Partners' 72andSunny. The other media contenders were Omnicom Group's PHD and independent Horizon Media. Roth Associates in New York managed the search.

For MediaVest, the national Honda business arrives three months after the shop won media regional planning and buying for the TriHonda Dealer Group, which encompasses dealers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. In the previous win, MediaVest teamed with sister shop Publicis Kaplan Thaler, which took on the group's creative business.