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May, 2024

Honda Australia to build in-house agency, appoints Howatson+Company as new external partner to replace trio of agencies

Honda Australia has announced a significant reshaping of its marketing and agency model, ditching Zenith Media, Wavemaker and TRP and appointing Howatson+Company as its new media and creative agency partner across its Automotive, Motorcycles and Power Equipment divisions.

This move comes in conjunction with the establishment of a new In-House Agency (IHA), in partnership with -lution, Australia’s leading experts on in-housing, as well as the recent appointment of Terri Golder as head of marketing for Honda Australia.

The automotive giant’s moved is about streamlining its agency roster, a decision that sees it parting ways with long-standing partners Zenith Media, Wavemaker and TRP. Mi3 understands Leo Burnett and Zenith Media did not repitch for the partnership.

Howatson+Company will work in a hybrid model alongside the new IHA, aiming to optimise efficiency and creativity. The IHA is set to launch within the next month, spanning across creative, production and media. Recruitment for the initial roles is currently underway.

“This is a really exciting time for Honda Australia and our marketing team. With our rich brand heritage, the establishment of an in-house agency, coupled with new external partners, positions us to drive greater effectiveness in our marketing efforts. We’re thrilled to welcome Terri Golder to lead our reshaped marketing function,” General Manager Customer Experience at Honda Australia, Belinda Cusworth, said.

Chris Howatson, Founder and CEO of Howatson+Company, expressed his honour at being chosen as Honda’s new partner. “Honda is one of the most valuable brands in the world. The opportunity to work with Belinda and Terri to continue this legacy is a dream for both myself and the entire agency. We’re honoured to become part of the Honda family.”

Honda Australia has expressed gratitude to the teams at Zenith Media, Leo Burnett, Wavemaker and TRP for their support over the years.

Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at -lution, Nick Thomas, said it was proud to assist Honda in redesigning its operating model and building an In-House Agency from scratch.

“The IHA, launching within the next month will span across creative, production and media,” he said.