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Houston, We Have a Problem

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TradeCast Aborts Review, Cuts Spending
ATLANTA--Online stock-trading software supplier TradeCast Securities has killed its advertising review, following the dismissal of vice president and director of marketing Michael Littman.
Two weeks ago, TradeCast's agency, Doe-Anderson, resigned. Both sides confirmed $10 million had been spent on advertising this year. The client, however, is cutting its budget after making little headway against category giants E*Trade and Ameritrade.
Based in Houston, TradeCast has hired local consultant Kevin Moore to coordinate freelance creative efforts.
"Our marketing department is down to one person. That's me," said Steve Gunderson, ad and marketing manager. "We want somebody to help us with what we're doing . . . and have hired a consultant to help us farm out some work."
Reached while cleaning out his desk after returning from vacation to learn that he had been fired, Littman said, "One of our board members is a pretty damn powerful guy and he decided I needed to go."
Doe-Anderson won the TradeCast business last September, shortly after Littman left the Louisville, Ky., shop, where he had been director of account services.
Three Houston shops had been chasing TradeCast in the aborted review: Bates Southwest, Fogarty Klein Monroe and Rives Carlberg.
Gunderson said TradeCast expects to launch advertising to accompany a new product in the fall. "TV, print, traditional marketing will be backed off," he said. "We've got Web site work to do." K