DISCOVER REVIEWS AGENCIES FOR ONLINE BROKERAGE

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Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co. is hearing pitches from as many as seven agencies to handle its online trading business, Discover Brokerage Direct, said an agency executive contacted by the marketer.

The financial giant hopes to compete in the growing online brokerage market by cross-selling the service to Discover cardholders.

'MILLIONS' INTERESTED

"Millions of people who trust the Discover Card for quality and service will be interested in exploring new financial products carrying the Discover brand," said Stephen R. Miller, chief operating officer of Discover Brokerage Direct.

Discover officials declined to comment on the search and the agencies involved.

The account currently is handled by Tracey Ryan Partners, San Francisco, and it rang up about $4 million in ad support last year.

The brokerage entered the online segment by acquiring Lombard Brokerage in December, renaming it earlier this month. It is going up against the likes of American Express Co., Charles Schwab & Co. and Fidelity Investments.

MORE RELIANCE ON ADS

As competition for Internet trades heats up, marketers have been focusing more on advertising. For example, earlier this year E*Trade began a $10 million TV

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