E-TRADE CONTACTS AGENCIES REGARDING $90 MILLION ACCOUNT

Seeks Ideas for Project Work; Incumbent Is Martin/Williams

By Published on .

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- E-Trade Financial is seeking ideas from outside agencies for project work on its estimated $90 million account, now at Omnicom Group's Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, according to executives familiar with the matter.

The call for ideas comes less than a

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month after Nicholas Utton joined E-Trade as its new chief marketing officer. He replaced Pamela Kramer, who left in the spring.

New marketing chief
It's unclear what agencies have been contacted by Mr. Utton, who previously held top marketing positions for JPMorgan Chase. In the past he's worked with agencies in the Interpublic Group of Cos. family. McCann Erickson, New York, handled MasterCard and, with Mr. Utton, created the "Priceless" campaign. Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., and Foote Cone & Belding, New York, handle JPMorgan, though that marketer's account is now in review.

Martin/Williams only won E-Trade in September. It beat out Omnicom's BBDO, New York; Havas' McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis, New York and Seattle.

Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, previously handled the account.

Trouble for Martin/Williams?
Losing E-Trade would be a significant blow to Martin/Williams. Staples, the office supply retailer, split with the agency in April after less than two years. (That account is still in review.)

A spokesman for Martin/Williams declined comment. An E-Trade spokeswoman denied the account was in review, but had no further comment.

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