RPA Creates New Division to Service Acura

March 14, 2008

by
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Santa Monica, California — March 14, 2008 — RPA, the largest agency headquartered in Los Angeles, and the fifth-largest independent agency in the country, has created a new dedicated division to service Acura. This division further evolves the current Acura core team and will be led by two recently appointed senior executives: Dave Weber as EVP, General Manager, and John Hage as SVP, Creative Director.

This new RPA division is consistent with the significant investment of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and American Honda Motor Co., Inc., to separate and strengthen Acura as a definitive luxury brand. Two new design studios, located in Torrance, Calif., and Japan, were opened specifically to develop new concepts and designs for future Acura products. In addition, the brand is expanding outside North America in countries such as China.

"With the upcoming launches of the new 2009 RL, TL and TSX, Acura begins a series of new product introductions that will further establish the brand as a major competitor in the luxury market segment," said John Mendel, EVP of American Honda automobile operations. "As we market these new products, we are pleased that RPA is making similar investments toward helping to build a powerful Acura brand."

Dave Weber, formerly EVP, General Manager at Dentsu Next, brings more than 25 years of integrated brand building in the automotive category. His experience includes stints as VP, Marketing at Hyundai and SVP, Group Management Director on the Mazda business at Foote, Cone & Belding. Weber worked for Denny Remsing, EVP, General Manager of RPA Alpha, at Della Femina on Isuzu. At RPA, he will report to Bill Hagelstein, EVP, COO, with whom Weber worked for while at Foote, Cone & Belding.

John Hage, most recently SVP, Group Creative Director at Y&R Advertising, has extensive automotive experience with Lexus, Land Rover and Saturn. His work has been honored by the Beldings, Communications Arts, EFFIEs, London Festivals, New York Art Director Awards, The One Show and Cannes. Hage will lead the Acura creative group to further develop a distinctive expression of Acura's brand essence and will report to David Smith, EVP, Executive Creative Director.

Weber, Hage and Joan Egan, SVP, Group Account Director for Acura, will lead Acura's collaborative creation process within the agency, building on RPA's strength of housing every discipline under one roof and enabling in-house expert resources to work as a team to create comprehensive integrated strategies. The division will utilize RPA's established disciplines, including media buying.

The new division will be composed of current Acura Associates working in a separate, dedicated space at 2501 Colorado Avenue, next door to RPA's headquarters at 2525 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.

About RPA RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent advertising agency based on the West Coast, with more than $1 billion in billings. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, interactive, direct and event marketing. RPA's client list includes American Honda, both the Honda and Acura brands, La-Z-Boy, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Pharmavite's SOYJOY, and it is the media planning and buying agency for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lenox Financial Mortgage, Reily Foods and Zatarain's. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.

About Acura Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 268 dealers within the United States. The 2008 Acura lineup features five distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle. For additional information about Acura vehicles, please visit http://www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please visit http://www.acuranews.com.