Honda has put a significant portion of its U.S. media account under review. Up for grabs is the automaker’s so-called Tier 2 media business, which includes regional advertising that is often used to plug sales incentives and is closely linked with individual dealer efforts.
RPA currently handles Honda’s national creative and media business, including some Tier 2 media work. Other agencies involved in Tier 2 media include Horizon Media. Honda Motor Co. spent $1.39 billion on U.S. advertising in 2019, including the Honda and Acura brands, according to the latest figures from the Ad Age Datacenter. (The figure does not include the entirety of dealer association spending that is a part of the review.) A person familiar with the review suggests the Tier 2 account could represent as much as $550 million in spending.
“We have begun a process to assess which agencies have the capabilities to support our DAAs,” America Honda said in a statement to Ad Age, referring to its dealer ad associations. “The DAAs will then be able to select from this list of agencies. While we are not confirming the overall spend for Tier 2 advertising, we will have more information to share once we have completed the process of assessing the eligible agencies.”
People familiar with the review say that the goal is to consolidate the business into a smaller number of shops.
The review is being handled by Muster Consulting, which referred all questions to Honda.
Honda last year made a significant change in its creative approach, replacing Fred Savage as the voice of its ads with WWE star and actor John Cena in a move meant to adopt a more rugged tone as it tries to boost its SUV and pickup truck sales.
Honda’s U.S. sales fell 9.2% in January, with a 9.4% volume decline for the Honda brands and a 7.9% drop for Acura, according to Automotive News.