LendingTree Selects Creative Agency

New shop's first work is expected in March

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Five months after hiring a media agency, LendingTree has found a new lead creative shop.

Merkley + Partners won the pitch for LendingTree’s creative account and will break its first campaign in the spring. The New York shop outstripped two other finalists—McKinney in Durham, N.C. and Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco—to land the business.

Media spending on the brand totaled $22 million last year—a slight uptick from 2010, according to Nielsen. That figure does not include online spending, however, and Merkley’s assignment includes some digital responsibilities.

That said, LendingTree’s internal creative department of about 10-15 produces most of the company’s online ads, according to Fred Saunders, svp of marketing.

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