$20 Mil. CSFBdirect Account Goes Into Review

CSFBdirect, the online brokerage of investment-banking firm Credit Suisse First Boston, is launching a review of its estimated $20 million creative account.

The client confirmed the review but declined to elaborate. Incumbent Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York declined to participate, sources said.

A consultant has not yet been selected, sources said.

The client, whose parent company Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette was acquired by Credit Suisse last November, was formerly known as DLJdirect. Kirshenbaum will keep Credit Suisse’s $40 million global corporate-image account.

Agency officials declined comment.

In its latest work for the Jersey City, N.J.-based client, Kirshenbaum sought to drive awareness of its new name.

A series of spots that carried the tagline, “People who know, know CSFBdirect,” depicted professionals using various aspects of the service. One commercial, for example, featured John Seely Brown, former director of the Palo Alto Research Center, researching his personal investments via CSFBdirect.

CSFBdirect spent about $20 million in media from January through November of last year and about $25 million in 1999, per Competitive Media Reporting.

In an unrelated de velopment, Kirshenbaum plans this week to trim its 380-person staff by about 20, sources said. These cuts, which will affect employees in production, traffic and account services, are part of an agency restructuring meant to beef up creative resources and slim down top-heavy departments, sources said.

The layoffs follow the shop’s loss last month of the Olympus account; Kirshenbaum, which handled that client’s consumer photo products, declined to participate in its review.