E*Trade Launches Creative Agency Review

By Patrick Coffee 

Financial services company E*Trade has launched a review of its creative advertising business, according to some sources who reached out to us yesterday. Certain other parties may or may not have already noted this development.

Any Google search will reveal that the client remains best-known for Grey’s baby ads, but it’s been a couple of years since those last ran after the WPP shop resigned the account. Since then, E*Trade has worked with several agencies: Ogilvy won brand creative and digital CRM work in 2013; SS+K picked up “online marketing”/social several months later.

The biggest recent change came two years ago, when R/GA took over on the TV portion of the business, apparently without a review. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this news followed reports that CMO Liza Landsmen would be leaving the company (she’s now with Jet.com). It was also a significant shift for R/GA in keeping with what executives called “a new emphasis on TV work” in 2015.

The agency’s campaigns initially replaced the famous baby with Kevin Spacey, then moved into tongue-twister territory for a campaign released early last year.

It’s unclear exactly who is involved in the review, though one party tells us Mother New York is pitching. Representatives from E*Trade, R/GA, Ogilvy and SS+K have either declined to comment or not responded to related queries.

Less than six months ago, E*Trade went through an executive-level round of revolving door as CEO Paul Idzik left and former EVP/general counsel Karl Roessner took over. The company does not appear to employ a chief marketing officer at this time.

The company also picked MDC’s Assembly as media agency of record last summer after two years with WPP.

According to Kantar, E*Trade spent just over $60 million on marketing in the U.S. last year.