Brokerage’s CMO Has IPG Leanings

E*Trade Financial’s new chief marketing officer is an “Interpublic Group loyalist,” according to a source, and that’s where he may look first for a shop to work on the online brokerage’s estimated $90 million marketing account, half of which is paid advertising.

Being based in New York or a finalist in last year’s E*Trade review won’t hurt either, sources said.

Nicholas Utton joined E*Trade in June from JPMorgan Chase and is now soliciting ideas from undisclosed shops. At JPMorgan, he worked with IPG shops Foote Cone & Belding in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Both would appear to be available to pitch E*Trade, as they are not on the IPG team chasing JPMorgan’s $150 million account as it prepares to merge with Chicago’s Bank One [Adweek Online, July 2].

Utton also worked at MasterCard, where he helped launch the “Priceless” campaign from IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York. But McCann recently won BrownCo, a rival online brokerage of E*Trade’s.

Utton and the agencies could not be reached for comment.

E*Trade this year moved its headquarters from Menlo Park, Calif., to New York, and sources said Utton has already contacted East Coast shops. Since taking the job, he has not met with his current agency, Omnicom Group’s Martin/Williams in Minneapolis, sources said.

M/W won the E*Trade account last year after a review that included Omnicom’s BBDO New York, Havas’ McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C., and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis in New York and Seattle. One of Utton’s first tasks at E*Trade was to review the work those shops had submitted, said a source. M/W executives declined comment.

Most famous for its chimpanzee Super Bowl spots, the client took a more conservative, product-centered strategy in M/W’s first work.