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E*Trade Contacts Agencies

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CHICAGO E*Trade Financial has begun soliciting ideas from agencies for the company's estimated $90 million marketing account, according to sources.

The shops, whose identities could not immediately be determined, were asked to present ideas by Nicholas Utton, who joined the company last month as chief marketing officer. He had previously held top marketing posts at JP Morgan Chase and MasterCard International [Adweek Online, June 17].

Utton was described by one source as an "Interpublic Group loyalist.' (MasterCard's ads are handled by McCann Erickson and JP Morgan works with Foote Cone & Belding and The Martin Agency. All are owned by IPG. )

New York-based E*Trade, an online brokerage, is currently handled by Omnicom Group's Martin/Williams in Minneapolis. The agency won creative and media last September and broke a campaign this year themed "Why on earth wouldn't you?" An E*Trade representative declined to comment.

M/W could immediately be reached.

M/W won the account after a review that included Omnicom's BBDO in New York, Havas' McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C., and Publicis Groupe's Publicis in New York and Seattle.

E*Trade spent $16 million on ads last year, but the company had already spent $15 million through the first quarter of 2004, per TNS Media Intelligence/CRM. Company officials earlier this year said they would increase the overall marketing budget to $90 million.