baby goodbye. Grey Advertising and E*Trade are parting ways.
The WPP shop had been the discount broker’s ad agency for six years and created one of the most recognizable and popular
ad campaigns during that time. It featured the iconic "E*Trade Baby," who figured out a way to trade almost any time and anywhere.
Neither the client or the agency officially
confirmed the news, but Grey staffers received a memo today from Grey New York President and CCO Tor Myhren and COO Michael Houston. “After a spectacularly successful six-year run, we are
resigning the E*Trade Financial account,” they wrote.
Grey’s resignation comes in the wake of senior management shifts at E*Trade, including a new CEO in January and the
departure soon after of CMO Nick Utton, who had been a key corporate advocate of Grey and the Baby campaign.
Despite the success of the campaign, E*Trade was rocked by management
instability throughout the agency’s tenure. It has appointed and replaced seven CEOs since 2007. Plus, it has struggled financially in recent years and considered putting itself on the sales
block two years ago during a strategic review.
The company spent nearly $250 million on ads in 2012, according to Kantar, but has plans to sharply reduce that amount in the next couple of
“We will always look back on this relationship as one of the best and most famously effective in Grey's history,” Myhren and Houston wrote in their memo. “Let us
never forget this was the brand and the work that began our turnaround.”
The campaign won numerous awards, including Effies, One Show, London International, AICP and D&AD honors.
E*Trade Baby ads also appeared in six Super Bowl telecasts, frequently generating high scores in consumer polls by USA Today, CBS, Time and other publications.
No word yet if E*Trade has
begun a review to replace Grey. The company didn’t immediately respond to queries for comment.