Schwab Kicks Off 2 Reviews Worth $75 Mil.

Charles Schwab & Co. has hired consultancy Pile and Co. to oversee two separate reviews.
Combined, the new assignments could be worth up to $75 million, sources said, but the client would prefer to divide the accounts between two different agencies.
The financial services company is looking beyond lead shop, BBDO, as it considers others for a project creating print ads for mutual funds. Sources said that budget may top $50 million. The other project involves marketing to women and is worth another $25 million, sources said.
Pile and Co. chairman Skip Pile confirmed he is handling two searches for Schwab, one for mutual funds and another “for women,” but referred other questions to client officials, who did not return calls.
Schwab spent $150 million on media through the first 10 months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The new initiatives are designed to help Schwab compete against rivals, such as E*Trade and Fidelity Investments, sources said.
BBDO probably won’t participate, sources said. While BBDO is not the incumbent, a portion of the budget to fund the two initiatives is being diverted from the agency.
Pile, based here, is starting to screen shops and will invite unconflicted mid-sized and larger agencies with strong financial-services backgrounds, sources said.
Separate lists of contenders are expected in two weeks. Decisions are expected by March or April.
Location is not a top priority, but West Coast shops–such as those near Schwab’s San Francisco base–will be favored, according to sources. K