AMEX NAMES SAATCHI FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS ACCOUNT

Marketer's Spending to Increase Following Unit's Spinoff

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, New York, was chosen to rebrand and launch American Express Co.’s Financial Advisors unit, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
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Also in the review were American Express' agency of record, WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson Worldwide, New York.

Billings
Billings are expected to be about $55 million, executives familiar with the matter said. In 2004, American Express Financial Advisors spent $48 million in measured media, according TNS Media Intelligence. The spokeswoman would not comment on spending, but did say that because it is the launch of a new brand, "we will be putting our strength behind it."

In February, American Express said it would spin off the financial advisory business in the third quarter this year to better focus on its charge card, credit card and travel businesses. The unit's profits were up 5%, to $166 million, in the first quarter.

$400 billion in assets
Minneapolis-based Financial Advisors has more than 12,000 advisors and manages more than $400 billion in assets.

Media buying and planning, currently handled by WPP Group's MindShare, was not part of the review.

Search consultant Pile and Co., Boston, handled the review, which began in March.