E*Trade Shifts Media To WPP

Financial company E*Trade is shifting the bulk of its media assignment to WPP from Spark Communications without a review, according to sources.

E*Trade’s advertising and market development expense decreased 22% to $108.4 million last year, the company said in a recent document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  The decrease, it reported, was part of a cost-cutting initiative at the company.

Last year E*Trade began shaking up its agency roster after the arrival of new CMO Liza Landsman. Grey resigned the account’s creative duties almost a year ago and within a month the company had selected Ogilvy & Mather as its new creative advertising shop.

According to sources, E*Trade is bringing its media assignment to WPP, which will use a "Team WPP" approach for the account, as part of a consolidation move. The company is said to believe it can achieve greater overall marketing and advertising ROI by working with a single holding company. 

The WPP team on the E*Trade media account will be led by a relatively new entity at GroupM called MetaVision Media. It is headed by CEO A.J. Storinge, who joined the firm last year from OMD. Storinge couldn't be immediately reached for comment. 

Spark, part of Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group, has held the bulk of the E*Trade traditional media assignment for more than five years. The client has done much of its digital work in-house.

Creatively, E*Trade is taking a different approach. The iconic “E*Trade Baby” has been ditched and Ogilvy recently launched a new campaign for the client that features actor Kevin Spacey as a “type E” talent scout.

E*Trade press reps didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the shift. Spark declined to comment. 

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