Chase Launching TV Ad Campaign to Push Vista Funds

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Chase Manhattan Corp. is putting its investment products on television.

In the latest sign that banks are stepping up their commitment to the investments business, the New York banking giant Sunday night was set to launch a television advertising campaign for its proprietary mutual funds.

The campaign coincides with other aggressive moves by banks to expand their investment businesses, such as Fleet Financial Group's deal for Quick & Reilly, the country's third-largest discount brokerage, announced last week.

Ads for Chase's proprietary Vista fund family are set to run through early November in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The campaign, created by Wells Rich Greene, New York, consists of three 30-second spots, two of which highlight the performance of individual Vista portfolios. All of the commercials use Chase's "The right relationship is everything" tag line.

The first 30-second spot was scheduled to run last night during a broadcast of the New York Giants football game.

"We're trying to get the message across of how committed Chase is to the mutual fund business," said Sarah E. Jones, managing director, Chase Global Mutual Funds Group.

Banks have historically relied more on print ads than television commercials to call attention to their mutual funds. But recently some banks, including KeyCorp, Barnett Banks Inc., and Mellon Bank Corp., are making the more expensive leap to TV.

Also this week, New York's Dime Savings Bank plans to add a plug for its investment subsidiary, Dime Securities Inc., to its current television campaign. The spots are set to run for four weeks.

The change comes amid a bull market for investment products and at a time when growth in other consumer banking businesses is flat.

"There is not a whole lot of growth left in traditional areas of profits," said Navtej S. Nandra, a partner in the financial services group of Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. …