It’s campaign season. But this time, the subject is not politics, it is finance.

Washington Mutual is trying to build support for its proposed acquisition of Great Western Bank with a series of ads running in major newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Washington Mutual is competing against

H.F. Ahmanson, parent company of Home Savings of America, to buy the Chatsworth, Calif.-based S&L.

One ad, created by Washington Mutual’s agency, McCann-Erickson’s Seattle office, shows part of a March 3 Fortune chart that listed Washington Mutual as the country’s most admired savings institution. Ahmanson was ranked as fifth on the list. The headline reads, ‘Ever notice

you never hear anyone yelling ‘we’re number five’?’

The ads run through June 13, the date Great Western’s board of directors is scheduled to vote on Washington Mutual’s offer.

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