Charles Schwab To Hire Shop For On-Line Unit

By Kathy Tyrer

LOS ANGELES–Investment brokerage house Charles Schwab has launched a national search for a shop to handle $10 million in advertising for its electronic trading unit.

The San Francisco-based financial services company has hired consultant Mike Marsak of Effective Marketing Strategies in Marina del Rey, Calif., to coordinate the search.

The selected shop will handle broadcast and print creative work, media planning, and possibly print and on-line ad buying. Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif., which does media buying for Schwab’s entire $85 million account, will handle broadcast ad buying.

Butler, Shine & Stern of Sausalito, Calif., executes creative projects for Schwab’s on-line division. ‘We like Butler, however electronic trading is becoming a very important part of our business,’ said Len Short, Schwab’s senior vice president, advertising and brand management. ‘Our spending will be quite substantial next year. We need to go through strategic and creative presentations and select a strong partner to help build this business.’

Rubin Postaer is likely to be invited to participate, Short said. Ten agencies will meet with the client and four will make presentations in June.

Schwab claims to dominate on-line trading, accounting for half of the 1.5 million U.S. consumers who trade on-line. ‘We want to end up the leader as this market explodes,’ Short said.

Short joined Schwab two years ago from N.W. Ayer & Partners in New York. Vice president of advertising Peter Deluca arrived from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG.

The review does not affect Schwab’s relationship with creative boutiques Door No. 2 in New York, which handles corporate brand advertising, or Cohn Godley Norwood of Boston, which handles Mutual Fund OneSource. business.

An understanding of electronic software and strong print creative capabilities will be helpful to shops interested in the account, Short said.

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