Nicholas Utton Helped Launch MasterCard 'Priceless' Effort

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- E-Trade Financial, in the midst of a price war with rivals and whose ad spending is just beginning to bounce back from its dot-com heyday, has named a new chief marketing officer, filing a post open since April.

The new marketing chief, Nicholas Utton, replaces Pamela Kramer, who resigned in April. Mr. Utton had most recently been executive vice president and chief marketing officer of retail and middle markets at JP Morgan Chase. Before joining Chase, he was marketing chief at MasterCard International, where he launched the credit card's "Priceless" campaign.

Expanded services
E-Trade has been struggling, along with most once-hot discount brokers, through the recession and the dot-com bust. The company expanded its business into banking and mortgages as a hedge against weakness in the brokerage industry, but stock transactions remain the backbone of its business and that area has been plagued by a recent price war.

E-Trade has tried many changes in its marketing in the last two years, including abandoning the Super Bowl -- the company had sponsored the game's half-time show two years in a row -- and sharply cutting its ad spending. E-Trade spent $16.3 million in measured U.S. media in 2003, down from a high of $113 million in 2000, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Last summer, E-Trade split with its longtime agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco -- which had created its notorious Super Bowl spots featuring a monkey -- and hired Omnicom Group sibling Martin/Williams, Minneapolis. Spending has also begun to recover; the broker spent $13.8 million just in the first quarter of 2004, according to CMR.

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