How To Survive Crash: Spend More On Ads

Online brokerage firm E-Trade’s stock is down more than 78 per cent from its 52-week high, in part because it was one of the first online firms to feel the force of the mortgage crises. E-Trade CMO Nick Utton has advice for other companies now going through the same pain: Spend more on advertising.

“When a crisis hits, being out of sight is the same thing as being out of mind,” Utton told a conference this week. “you need to spend.”

In November 2007, an analyst used the word “bankrupt” in a note on E-Trade and sent company investors fleeing. Utton said the company responded by cutting advertising spending on low-performing sites, but also by increasing media buys on places like the Wall Street Journal Online. E-Trade also bought two Super Bowl commercial spots, which they used to launch that creepy stock-trading baby campaign. Now E-Trade is back to adding new 1,000 accounts a day. “It takes years and years and years to build up a good brand and you could lose the brand overnight,” says Utton.

 

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