E-broker Accutrade Swaps Shops

NEW YORK-Online broker Accutrade has awarded its $5-10 million account to The Romann Group after considering two other agencies.
The incumbent, Doremus & Co., split with the client about three weeks ago. Doremus had handled the account for a year and produced a consumer-focused print campaign that broke in January. The theme: “For intelligent life on the other end of the line.” The ads were backed by an estimated $1 million budget.
In addition to Doremus, the company talked to two Chicago shops before choosing Romann, a source said.
Pete Ricketts, president of the Omaha-based client, cited a combination of “high-energy creative [and] depth of thinking” as his reasons for his choice.
Accutrade, a unit of Ameritrade, bills itself as unique in an increasingly cluttered category by enabling its online consumers to interact with brokers.
Romann, which claims billings of $50 million, will launch a campaign that will include TV, print, outdoor and radio ads in October, said chief creative officer Gad Romann.
The campaign will hit the market before Merrill Lynch rolls out its own online trading venture, now scheduled for a Dec. 1 debut. Merrill will charge $29.95 per trade-the same price for executing an Accutrade order.
Category players Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Discover and Datek Securities have all either hired new shops or taken on their first agencies in the past year to establish a presence on the Web. Mutual fund giant Fidelity is expected to bow a $50 million campaign from Gotham here this fall.
The win will return Romann to the category; the shop lost DLJDirect to Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners earlier this year. -with Andrew McMain

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