Less than a year after bidding farewell to illustrious chimpanzee mascot Jonah, E*Trade Financial agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners may suffer a similar fate.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based client recently contacted a few agencies about pitching its account, sources said last week. It was unclear whether E*Trade is looking for a shop to handle its entire account or a new assignment, or if Goodby will be invited to participate.
But the client appears ready to move on: The account has been inactive at Goodby since the Super Bowl in January, and the shop is not working on any new E*Trade work, sources said. In addition, E*Trade hired WPP Group's Landor Associates earlier this year to reposition the company, sources said.
Pamela Kramer, named chief marketing and media officer for E*Trade last month, is making the agency contacts, sources said. She previously led media and content initiatives for the online financial-services company.
E*Trade spent an estimated $40 million on ads last year and $30 million for the first eight months of this year, per CMR.
Goodby representatives could not be reached for comment. Calls to Kra mer were answered by a company representative who said, "We do not comment on rumor or speculation."
Omnicom Group's Goodby won the business in May 1999 after a face-off with the incumbent, Gotham in New York. At the time, the Internet was in its heydey and the client was spending $140 million on advertising.
While E*Trade has found success on the Super Bowl, running spots in every game since 1999, this year marks the first time since 2000 that it will not sponsor the halftime show. The company has not yet decided if it will buy spots during the game.
In 2000, Goodby's Super Bowl ads for E*Trade introduced Jonah the chimp, who danced on a chair. Onscreen text read: "We just wasted $2 million bucks. What are you doing with your money?"
The 2001 spots had the chimp sitting on his high horse, surveying the dot-com wreckage. This year's Super Bowl ad showed Jonah putting on a failed musical, then getting fired by E*Trade CEO Christos Cotsakos and being shot off into space in a rocket.
Goodby's most recent work addressed the heady dot-com days and used the tag: "Times have changed. So have we."
It is unclear if media, handled by Initiative Media, is involved.