Magazine article American Banker

MaxRate, a CD Auction Site, Plans $20M Ad Campaign

Magazine article American Banker

MaxRate, a CD Auction Site, Plans $20M Ad Campaign

Article excerpt

MaxRate.com, an auction-style Internet broker of consumer certificates of deposit, says it plans to spend $20 million over the next year to promote its business.

The Atlanta-based Web start-up introduced its service April 17 and has been marketing it mostly in Palm Beach, Fla. The Web site, which is free to consumers, lets them name the rate they want on CDs so participating financial institutions can bid on the business.

So far the site has attracted about 325 visitors a day, but Kevin W. Link, president and chief executive officer, would not say how many became CD account holders. The ones who did buy CDs through the service deposited an average of $15,000, he said.

The nationwide ad campaign will consist of print, online, and cable television ads. The company, founded last year, is planning ads in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and personal finance magazines. MaxRate has hired an Atlanta-based ad agency, Donino, White & Partners, to design the ads.

MaxRate chose Palm Beach as its initial advertising market because the wealthy retirees who live there are "very attractive" customers. On May 1, MaxRate brought its marketing campaign to St. Louis; there it is targeting "working-class investors, who are more likely to invest in CDs," Mr. Link said.

MaxRate announced its service in February and vowed to have 50 financial institutions signed up by April. Only 18 have signed up so far, but contracts are in the works with 78, said Mr. Link, a former Wachovia Corp. …

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