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Mullen agency scoops $200 million Acura luxury car account in US


By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 20, 2013 | 3 min read

Underlining the power of regional agencies in the US, the Boston advertising high flier Mullen has landed the account of the luxury car brand Acura.

Acura: huge win for Boson agency

The account, estimated at $200 million, is one of the biggest to be opened to competitive proposals in years, the Boston Globe reported. It is also the biggest for Mullen in its 40-year history.

Mullen already has high-profile companies, such as Google, JetBlue, and Zappos, which have boosted agency revenues by 82 percent since 2009, according to the company.

Acura, the luxury division of American Honda, is a real coup as car accounts "tend to be the most prestigious and sought after in the industry," said the Globe.

They are rare and offer opportunities for agencies to showcase their creative abilities through national broadcast and media campaigns.

Mullen opened an office in San Francisco last year and is to open another office in Los Angeles near American Honda's HQ.

Mullen president Alex Leikikh said , “It allows us to continue to expand our West Coast footprint. And it allows us to do what’s most important here: attract the world’s best talent to our company.”

The win is a big loss for Rubin Postaer and Associates of Southern California, which had held Acura’s account since 1999. In a competitive review, RPA held on to the Honda brand which it has had since 1974, but lost Acura to Mullen.

All of American Honda’s advertising business, including Acura’s, was estimated at $1.14 billion in 2011.

Acura sold 9.6 percent of all luxury vehicles in the United States in 2012, behind Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes, but Mullen has a challenge on its hands: Acura sales are down 25 percent since a 2005 peak of nearly 210,000 vehicles to about 156,000 last year.

John Verret, professor of advertising at Boston University, told the Globe Acura’s initial popularity fizzled because American Honda stopped focusing on the brand.

“The advertising for Acura has been just kind of blah,” he said. “It would be very difficult for me to tell you anything about an Acura ad without my computer at my side.”

Mullen's official agency quote, "Needless to say, we’re honored and thrilled to be entrusted with this outstanding luxury car brand." Have a look at the celebration on the Mullen website:

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