Online Brokerage Wants ‘Switchers’

CHICAGO Ameritrade Holding Corp. is launching a print campaign Thursday encouraging independent investors to switch to Ameritrade by helping pay their broker’s transfer fees.

Print executions, from Ogilvy & Mather in New York, will run through April with full-page spreads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Barron’s and the San Francisco Chronicle, a representative of the Omaha, Neb., online brokerage said.

The campaign also includes a revised TV spot that broke in October with an interruption telling viewers about the promotion, the representative said. That spot will run on cable news networks. Direct mail and guerilla marketing are also part of the media mix.

In the print work, boldface copy states, “Moving your account to Ameritrade does have a catch: We’ll pay you,” touting the fact that the client is covering $1 million in transfer fees through its “Switchers’ Reserve” promotion.

Ameritrade’s media expenditures totaled $60 million through November 2002, according to CMR.