Partners’ Schwab Story

Tom Simons’ long-standing relationships with former partner Rick Cohn and Charles Schwab executive Len Short were instrumental in Partners & Simons winning a TV assignment from the discount brokerage.
Cohn and Simons were partners at the former Rizzo Simons Cohn, where Short worked as an account executive in the mid-1980s. Simons struck out on his own in 1989 to form Partners & Simons. Cohn left RSC a year later, and the agency soon capitulated.
Partners & Simons is currently creating a flight of spots designed to drive consumer use of Schwab’s online trading site,
Developed under the eye of freelance creative directors Cohn and Don Easdon, a series of eight documentary-style spots will begin airing on Nov. 30 during Monday Night Football. Corresponding print work from the Boston agency breaks the day before in Barron’s.
The estimated budget behind the campaign could reach $30 million for the fourth quarter of 1998, with an estimated $20 million in support for 1999, according to Short, executive vice president, advertising and brand management for Schwab.
The San Francisco-based client wants spots that are “less ad-like” than its previous work, Short said. As such, commercials will feature actual Schwab customers as they access the site and will not carry a tagline.
Cohn worked on projects supporting Schwab’s OneSource mutual funds while chairman of Cohn Godley Norwood in Boston, a position he resigning this summer. The agency lost OneSource a few months ago when the client consolidated the lion’s share of its ad duties at BBDO Worldwide.
BBDO handles most of Schwab’s $150 million account. Brand advertising is handled by the agency’s New York office and OneSource by its Los Angeles office.
In addition, Suissa Miller in Los Angeles handles some $15 million in institutional and trade ads for Schwab’s Web site, as well as other projects.