BBDO Rings In a ‘New, More Open’ NYSE

NEW YORK The New York Stock Exchange is investing an estimated $15 million in a new ad campaign, its first since former chairman Dick Grasso left under a cloud of controversy last September.

The 60-second “Bells” TV spot, via BBDO in New York, will break on May 16. The ad shows a series of bells being rung, including a bicycle’s and a phone’s as music swells in the background. “Optimism has always been celebrated with a bell,” says a narrator, “and every day when this [opening NYSE] bell rings, it’s a symbol of our pledge to serve the investor.”

The commercial goes on to say that the NYSE has “new standards” and “new leadership.” It retains the 10-year-old tagline: “The world puts its stock in us.” Placement includes news, sports and business cable. The campaign will include another TV spot and print. In addition, the NYSE will run a 30-second version of “Bells.”

Grasso was ousted last year when investors took issue with his $139.5 million retirement package, which was deemed exorbitant. Afterwards, the NYSE took out one-page ads in newspapers promising to be a “more open and more responsive market for our customers and the investing public.”

Bob Zito, executive vice president of the NYSE, said this is the first full-fledged campaign since Grasso left and the first since last year at this time, when the NYSE pulled ads during the Iraq war. Zito declined to comment on Grasso, except to say, “We certainly wanted to mention the new management.”