National Discount Brokers, an Internet stock trader, is looking for an agency to handle all duties on its $10-12 million ad account.
Paul Miller, the client's managing director of marketing, said requests for proposals have been sent to 20 New York agencies. He declined to identify the shops, but said that both large and small agencies would be considered.
Miller, who has been with the company for about two months, is a former media planner at Young & Rubicam and an account manager with DDB Needham. Most recently, he was vice president of marketing for Citibank's credit card division.
The client has been inactive on the advertising front for about the last six months, Miller said. Earle Palmer Brown in New York most recently worked with the company on a project basis, creating a TV and print campaign which broke last May. In one EPB TV spot, viewers are led to believe that they are about to see an amorous couple in bed. The payoff occurs when the female wakes her sleeping partner to express her excitement about online trading. "The broker for those with a passion for trading" is the tagline.
Miller said NDB spent about $6 million on advertising last year and is looking to double that figure.
The company is reviewing all of its vendors. "I think this is about the company recognizing the need to be a player in this explosive market," Miller said.
The New York company, which competes against other online brokers such as E-Trade and DLJ Direct, has 116,000 customers and manages $5 billion in investments, Miller said.
NDB is a subsidiary of National Discount Brokers Group, founded in 1968 as Sherwood Securities. The company went public in 1987 as Sherwood Group. Last year, Sherwood agreed to pay $9 million to settle an improper practices lawsuit that included several trading firms. The company has since changed its name to National Discount Brokers Group to reflect its focus on Internet trading. --with Sloane Lucas