WealthHound.com, a personal-finance site that plans to offer online trading, mortgages, insurance and e-commerce, is snooping around for its first agency of record.
Sources said that the account is worth $15 million. Several undisclosed agencies are participating in the review, which began in December and is "into the finals," said company CEO Alex Comandini. A decision is expected in two weeks, he added.
Comandini compared the company's advertising ambitions to a competitor's, explaining that the budget could jump as high as $50 million annually.
"You look at E*Trade, they're spending $120 million in the last quarter," he said. E*Trade spent $108 million last year on advertising, per Competitive Media Reporting.
WealthHound will roll out online and offline advertising, including TV and radio next month. "Initially, we will try and pick some spot markets," said Comandini, "then learn from the experience as to what ads are most effective, and then roll out nationally."
The company had debuted in the summer of 1999. The new campaign coincides with a Feb. 1 relaunch of the site, which now offers financial information.
The relaunch will add such services as online stock trading through Richmark Capital Corp., mortgages through AppOnline.com, insurance quotes and policies through Quotesmith.com, and shopping with more than 75 e-tailers.
Wireless connections are also planned as offerings, including a wireless trading platform.