Honda says it is reviewing its U.S. marketing


Honda Motor Co's U.S. arm has started a review of its advertising accounts for its Honda and Acura brands, American Honda Motor Co said on Thursday.

Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA), now the lead agency for American Honda, will be among the advertising firms scrutinized in the review, which is to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, American Honda said.

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American Honda spends about $700 million annually on its U.S. marketing, according to Kantar Media, an ad tracking firm owned by KPP Plc.

"The review we have initiated will lead to a strong, long-term strategic plan for our brands," Michael Accavitti, head of American Honda marketing, said in a statement.

Accavitti said the company wants to connect with consumers through "dynamic marketing campaigns" in a "changing media landscape and a hyper-competitive marketplace."

He said the review comes as the company rolls out new products such as the 2013 Honda Civic and the 2014 Acura RLX sedan. Acura is the company's premium brand.

The review does not include American Honda's agency for multicultural work, which is currently handled by Muse Communications and Orci, American Honda said.

According to Kantar Media, American Honda spent $689.5 million on advertising in 2011, up from $668.1 million in 2010. After the first half of 2012, Honda's ad spend was up 1.8 percent.

RPA is based in Santa Monica, outside Los Angeles. American Honda is based in Torrance, which is also outside Los Angeles.

Sales of Honda's namesake brand and Acura in the United States through November rose 24 percent from a year earlier to 1.29 million vehicles.

The review of American Honda's U.S. advertising was reported by Advertising Age and Automotive News on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman; editing by John Wallace)