E*Trade Key for Gotham, Fidelity

BOSTON-Gotham’s former status as lead agency for E*Trade was key to its win of Fidelity Investments’ $50-60 million online brokerage account, sources said last week.
Gotham’s pitch focused on the “tremendous advantage” Fidelity has as the first online brokerage with historical financial credentials, versus the Internet-only credentials of E*Trade, sources said. The client also appreciated that Gotham possessed intimate knowledge of its chief rival. “They certainly have extensive experience” in the category, said Stephen Cone, president of customer marketing and development at Fidelity.
Gotham beat Grey Advertising, New York; Martin/Williams, Minneapolis; and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, for the business. Hill, Holliday and Gotham are both owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.
“We’re now looking to get revenge against E*Trade, and what better way to do it than with a pre-eminent name like Fidelity,” said Stone Roberts, chairman of Gotham. The shop lost E*Trade a few months ago to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
Additionally, Gotham will handle all Fidelity brokerage advertising and promotions for Fidelity.com, its current online vehicle, said Cone. Hill, Holliday did the most recent work for Fidelity.com.
Fidelity spent more than $80 million on ads last year, mainly through Hill, Holliday, and the shop will continue to focus on promotions for Fidelity’s mutual fund, retirement and corporate advertising efforts.
Gotham’s initial effort will appear in the third or fourth quarter and be “integrated” to some extent with Hill, Holliday’s corporate efforts which have featured financial guru Peter Lynch and Don Rickles and Lily Tomlin.
With its proposed service somewhat behind the curve in the fast-growing online “day trader” market, Fidelity officials decided at the outset to seek a separate agency for the business, sources said. Cone conceded there is “very low awareness” of Fidelity’s online brokerage services. ƒ