Honda CMO Dumps RPA After Promising to Keep Them
As is always the case, the irrefutable CMO math has bitten yet another ad agency in the ass. This time it's Honda biting RPA. True to form, new Honda CMO, Michael Accavitti, after taking the job last year, said, dumping RPA would be "completely unproductive and unnecessary, RPA is an extension of the Honda family," flip flopped and uttered this mouthful:
"In the face of a changing media landscape and a hyper-competitive marketplace, our challenge is to create dynamic marketing campaigns that connect and engage consumers with our products and our brands. The review we have initiated will lead to a strong, long-term strategic plan for our brands"
Hmm. A long-term plan that will do better than the year-to-date 24 percent sales increase the brand has experienced? Unlikely.
You know, wouldn't it be nice if, one day, honesty struck and a CMO said, "Hey, I'm kind of a big deal and I need to flex my muscles to pretend I know what I'm doing so I'm going to fire a perfectly good agency with a great track record, waste a shitload of money on and agency search and then, 18 months later, leave and do it all over again at another brand."
Of course this sentiment doesn't apply specifically to Accavitti who from 1994 until 2009 was with Chrysler in various capacities including CEO of Dodge and Lead Marketing Executive for Chrysler. And he's not just a marketing windbag. He started his 25-year career at Chrysler as an industrial engineer along with positions in production management, finance and street and racing technology. Sounds like a pretty well-rounded, stand up guy.
Perhaps all of this is due to pressure from Honda CEO Takanobu Ito who is eager to have Honda North America increase annul sales from 1.7 million units to 2 million. Perhaps it's due to internal shenanigans, the details of which we will never fully understand. Having worked in this business as long as I have, one thing is clear, winning and losing clients rarely has anything to do with how well an agency has performed or promises to perform and everything to do with who knows who, who likes who and...most importantly...who can stand working with who.