St. Louis Brokerages Seeking to Boost Their Advertising Investments in Separate Reviews

Two St. Louis-based financial securities firms are searching separately for advertising agencies to help them compete in the booming and increasingly competitive investments market.
Investment firm Edward Jones has contacted at least four shops for what sources said is a multimillion-dollar creative project.
Concurrently, A.G. Edwards has also contacted several shops in search of a marketing partner. It is not clear whether the company is looking for an agency of record, according to some of the agencies contacted. An Edwards representative declined comment on the review.
Edward Jones is seeking an agency for a branding project that will include television and radio, said Mark Eckert, a media specialist with the firm. Media buying and planning will be handled by Advanswers in St. Louis. While it is not a search for a permanent agency, it is possible the company will at some point seek an agency of record, Eckert said.
At this time, he said, “The volume of creative work would not warrant an ongoing relationship.” Nonetheless, with ambitious growth plans, the project is expected to be a substantial one, with spending well in excess of $1 million, sources said.
Jones, founded in 1871, caters to individual investors and has approximately 3,600 single-broker offices across all 50 states, primarily in the Midwest and Northwest, Eckert said. Plans call for 10,000 brokerages by 2003, he said.
Edwards was founded in 1887 and is still headed by an Edwards family member. It has 560 offices in 48 states with 6,000 investment advisers.
Americans continue to funnel billions of dollars in savings into stocks, bonds and other securities. As a result, brokerage houses are significantly increasing ad spending to compete. Last week, Heller Financial in Chicago chose home-based Arian, Lowe & Travis for its estimated $2-3 million account. Heller previously had been with David Cravit & Associates here, which folded in July.