E-Trade Taps MDC's Assembly as New Media Agency

Appointment Follows Shop's Big Fox Media Planning Win

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E-Trade has hired MDC's Assembly as its new media agency.

E-Trade Commercial - Opportunity is Everywhere
E-Trade Commercial - Opportunity is Everywhere  Credit: E-Trade via E*TRADE via YouTube

The digital trading firm spent $62.1 million on measured media in the U.S. during 2015, according to Kantar Media. That's down from the $85.7 million it spent in 2014.

"As a pioneer in our industry we are constantly looking for smart and innovative ways to connect with our customers and prospects," said Rich Muhlstock, senior VP-branding and acquisition at E-Trade Financial, in a statement. "We are pleased to bring on a media agency that understands how to best navigate today's complex media ecosystem, engage our audiences and drive performance."

Ark Advisors was the consultant on the pitch.

The review was part of an effort to find an agency that can provide guidance on using media more creatively, according to one person familiar with the process.

Another person familiar with the review said that E-Trade was looking to ensure that its roster of agency partners aligns with its business needs. That is a departure from E-Trade's last media agency shift, which in May 2014 brought creative and media under the same WPP roof in an effort to "seamlessly integrate our messaging with how it is delivered," the company said at the time.

E-Trade's media incumbent is a dedicated WPP unit staffed by Ogilvy One and media agency network GroupM. The company hired the WPP team in 2014, after moving its creative from Grey to Ogilvy in 2013, to bring media and creative under the same roof. Prior to that, media was a held by Publicis Groupe's Spark.

E-Trade has since moved its creative from Ogilvy to Interpublic Group of Cos' R/GA. It also works with SS&K for social and WPP's Wunderman for CRM.

For Assembly, a mid-sized media agency, the win continues momentum that started recently with a big Fox media planning account.

Ark, Assembly and the incumbent shops didn't immediately respond to a request for comment or declined to comment.

E-Trade Chief Marketing Officer Liza Landsman left the company last February.

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