DDB wins Ameritrade's OnMoney Internet financial portal to debut this summer with $50 mil in ads

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Ameritrade Holding Corp. has tapped DDB Worldwide, Chicago, for the $50 million launch of OnMoney, a financial-planning Web portal set to debut this summer.

DDB bested Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy & Mather, both New York. The assignment was the second win for the DDB network last week; its New York office earlier nabbed the $85 million Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide account.

The OnMoney Web site is currently in test, and executives close to the company said it will launch in July. Joseph A. Konen, CEO of OnMoney Financial Services Corp., the subsidiary developing the site, said there's no firm target date for the introduction.

'FINANCIAL SERVICES HUB'

Mr. Konen wouldn't share details of the launch, but said the site will tie together customers' various banking and investment accounts.

"OnMoney is intended to be a financial services hub on the Internet offering tools for consumers," he said. He compared it to Quicken software. and said it will help consumers keep closer track of their portfolios.

Ameritrade, a discount broker that went online in 1997, has said it will spend up to $200 million on marketing its services in 1999. OgilvyOne, Chicago, is agency of record for Ameritrade.

As investors flock to PCs to buy and sell securities, the number of companies providing Internet trading is climbing.

SPENDING TO JUMP 91%

BancBoston Robertson Stephens estimates that ad spending by online brokerages will reach $525 million this year, up 91% from the $275 million spent in 1998.

"It's time to move beyond brand-building to promotion," Tom O'Connell, president of Discover Brokerage, told attendees at a recent industry conference.

At the same conference, J. Joe Ricketts, co-CEO of Ameritrade, likened the online trading competition to the Oklahoma land grab.

"The opportunity is enormous with more and more households coming online," Mr. Ricketts said. "It's like drilling for gold."

DLJ Direct and E*Trade aren't exactly resting on their laurels, either. DLJ expects to have spent $65 million on advertising by yearend, up $40 million from last year. It switched late last year to Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York. E*Trade spent $150 million last year and touted its new print and TV campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, at that conference.

Contributing: Constance Loizos, Investment News.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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