In rare move, LPL launches ad campaign on TV

Part of restructuring but counter to firm's focus on reps, advisers

Feb 14, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Ever the recruiting dynamo, LPL Financial LLC is trying to reach a wider swath of brokers by buying commercial ads on business news channel CNBC.

It's the first time LPL Financial has used a national media campaign since being acquired by two private equity firms in 2005. The use of commercial spots also run counter to the company's long-stated position that the LPL name and brand takes a backseat to individual registered reps and investment advisers.

The ads, which are 10 seconds long and pop up in between news segments, will appear 10 times a day on CNBC for six weeks, said Joan Khoury, managing director and chief marketing officer of LPL.

She called the ads a “ticker sponsorship,” and the message is aimed at the adviser market. The ads are positioned above the scrolling stock ticker during live content.

“This begins our attempt to reinforce the strength of the independent model and show how advisers and institutions aligned with us benefit from the business model,” Ms. Khoury said.

The marketing campaign is part of the company's broader restructuring, which also includes outsourcing some jobs and potential layoffs in the second half of the year. Ms. Khoury added that the ads were shown to advisers recently at a meeting and the response was positive.

LPL Financial became a publicly traded company in November 2010 and some advisers have grumbled about changes and growing pains at the company. When asked how the new ad campaign fits into the context of the company's overall strategy, Ms. Khoury said: “It's about becoming a public company along with the shift of advisers becoming independent. It's also about looking for a brand to enhance theirs.”

The ad campaign also is about “repositioning for future growth,” Ms. Khoury said. “We're looking to invest in areas that create the most value for our advisers and institutions, and marketing was one of those areas.”

LPL Financial likely paid between $100,000 and $140,000 for the six-week campaign, said Marc Morse, senior vice president for national broadcast at RJ Palmer LLC, a media advertising agency. “That's my guess,” he said. “They could have paid more if they didn't know what they were doing.”


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