Both accounts have been with indie agency RPA since 1986 and it would be a possibly fatal blow to RPA if they were to move. RPA is reported to be repitching.
Even though the review is said to be US-only at this stage other Honda agencies outside the US will be viewing the review nervously, not least Wieden+Kennedy in the UK. Despite a record of award-winning work, most notably its ‘Grrr’ commercial, W+K London recently saw the European launch of the new Civic go to Mcgarrybowen’s new European operation based in London.
Which has to make Mcgarrybowen a strong contender for the US account, provided it doesn’t drop the ball on the Civic launch. The fact that it’s owned by Japan’s Dentsu possibly helps too. W+K in the US handles Chrysler so presumably would be precluded from handling Honda there.
RPA has won many plaudits over the years for its Honda work, not least from Honda itself. This year’s Super Bowl commercial starring Matthew Broderick (below) has over 16m YouTube hits. But Honda is determined to raise its US sales from 1.7m to two million as it recovers from supply chain problems caused by the tsunami in Japan and so change is on the cards.