Discount Brokerage Spokesbaby Throws Final Temper-Tantrum

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E*Trade Financial’s talking perma-infant (is it just me, or does he sort of resemble two-time E*Trade saviorKen Griffin?) won’t get a chance to grow up.

In a 30-second ad that debuted during the opening games of the NCAA March Madness tournament, a singing cat named Beanie interrupts the baby's announcement that he is funding his retirement account through E*Trade.

Told that the cat, which bursts into song with nonsensical lyrics about bundling and options and ETFs, is his new sidekick, the baby smashes his cellphone and barks: "I'm done. I'm out of here…."

Chief Executive Officer Paul Idzik said soon after his arrival in January 2013 that E*Trade was taking the wrong approach to marketing and should be more scientific in measuring how its messages resonate with clients. He fired marketing head Nick Utton, along with many other top executives. Grey Advertising, which created the baby ads, resigned from the account last summer and was replaced by Ogilvy & Mather.

"The baby was a wonderful iconic expression of what we were," new chief marketing officer Liza Landsman told Reuters. "But we want something that better reflects our present and where we are going."

E*Trade bids goodbye to its iconic baby [Reuters]

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