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David Suissa

Chairman and Executive Creative Director

Suissa Miller Advertising

Age: 40

To David Suissa, an advertising campaign is not unlike a military battle especially when the campaign involves luxury automobiles.

Suissa joined the fight five months ago when the agency won the coveted account for the Acura Division of American Honda.

"It's an extremely competitive market, with Mercedes Benz, to Infiniti and Lexus," said Suissa. "It's a war out there."

Suissa Miller's campaign, which begins this month, centers around the words: "The True Definition of Luxury. Yours."

The agency, which went from $119 million a year in billings to $240 million with the Acura account, has a guerilla-like approach to bringing in new business, scoping out "blue chip" clients and then going after them. Suissa said the agency has convinced the likes of Andrew Jergens, Hunt-Wessen and Beech-Nut's baby foods division to drop their respective ad agencies and switch to Suissa Miller.

Much of the firm's success is directly attributable to the syles of Suissa and his partner, the firm's president, Bruce Miller. "(They are) a real yin and yang team," said Alice Cuneo, west coast agency reporter for Advertising Age magazine. She describes Suissa as a sort of tough guy half of the team, noting that "David is brassy and has street smarts and knows how to get to the heart of things."

Even with the firm's growth in recent years, Suissa said little has changed for the way he operates at home and at work.

"Nowadays I get maybe a hundred voice mails a day instead of 40, but it hasn't changed what I do every day and I still get home for dinner," he said.

Wade Daniels

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