LendingTree Hires Grey San Francisco to Expand the Brand's Message

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LendingTree is moving its creative business to Grey S.F. from Merkley + Partners, the marketer's agency of nearly three years.

Grey landed the assignment after a review that began with 11 agencies and came down to three finalists, sources said. It's not clear if incumbent Merkley defended the business. Annual measured media spending is around $20 million.

With the WPP agency in its corner, the online loan marketplace plans to expand its message to consumers. The company is known primarily for connecting borrowers with mortgage lenders, but now LendingTree wants to change the way people think about loans in general. (Whether LendingTree will keep its little green spokespuppet, Lenny, to deliver that pitch has not been determined.) Grey's first work is expected to break later this spring.

"The strategy Grey brought to the table helped us see our brand in a whole new light, and the creative work we have in progress will convince a whole new group of people to think about how they get loans in a new way," Fred Saunders, LendingTree's svp, marketing and brand, said in a statement.

The latest win follows the addition of SunEdison, the renewable energy development company, which named Grey S.F. as its first global lead shop last month. That office has been revamped since the hire of Milan Martin as president in May 2013 and Curt Detweiler as chief creative officer nine months later.



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