DDB’s Webstreet to TBWA/C/D

$50 Mil. Account is First Significant Win for New Team in N.Y.
NEW YORK – In its first major win since Carl Johnson and David Page took over its office here, TBWA/Chiat/Day has landed ad duties for online stockbroker Webstreet Securities, an account the client has valued at $50 million.
The client parted with DDB in Chicago last year and contacted eight to 10 agencies before selecting TBWA/C/D, said Webstreet chairman Avi Fox. The other finalist in the credentials-only pitch was The Lord Group, also based in New York, he said.
Fox loved TBWA/C/D’s agency’s iconic print work for Absolut vodka and also bonded with Johnson, the president and chief executive, and Page, the chief creative officer. “Chemistry is the most important thing in any relationship,” Fox said.
As for the split with DDB: “We were lost in the shuffle there. We didn’t get the service at all,” said Fox, but sources said the reason was “financial differences.” The client spent less than $2 million on advertising last year. DDB did not return calls.
TBWA/C/D breaks its first work for the client this week – a print ad that will appear nationally in newspapers. While Fox would not disclose details of the campaign, which includes radio ads, sources said the print work features a giant letter and trumpets the Webstreet name, but does not use a tagline. A second batch due in September will include TV.
Previous advertising played up Webstreet’s empowering qualities, and used the tagline, “You’re a player now.”
To manage the account, Johnson has recruited Andrew Beaver from Deutsch in New York. Beaver, 36, who will become group account director, is the latest in a line of new hires, including director of print services Laura Langdon (previously at DDB) and creative manager Jean Wolff (previously at Ammirati Puris Lintas).
The $300 million shop is expected to hire a new media director. The post is currently vacant.
Reflecting on the stiff competition among online traders, Johnson said: “There are a lot of huge brands with big agencies and we felt we wanted to be in this fight.” As for Webstreet, he said: “Their passion and will to succeed is infectious.” He added, “It’s a huge opportunity and I’m going to spend lots of time on it.”