Merrill Lynch to rise through a new Bank of America campaign

Bank of America Corp. announced a new advertising campaign for the Merrill Lynch wealth management brand, a part of the business that bank CEO Ken Lewis once called the "crown jewel."

The help2 campaign, which is running on TV and in newspapers, including the Observer, is meant to speak plainly to clients who are still nervous about their financial future. Merrill's iconic bull is a prominent feature.

“One thing I heard in joining the organization was, “Well, what about the bull?'” said Sallie Krawcheck, a former Citigroup executive who joined Bank of America in August to run the wealth and investment management unit. She spoke to reporters this morning from Bank of America's New York offices at One Bryant Park.

The campaign is also meant to appeal to Merrill's famous “thundering herd” of financial advisers, whom the bank is anxious to retain. Krawcheck combated claims of high turnover among the advisers, noting that more than 80 percent of the revenue comes from employees who started their careers there. She said the bank has been adding financial advisers – a net of 46 last week – and now has about 14,700. A year ago, when Bank of America announced it was buying Merrill, the New York investment firm had about 17,000 advisers. Bank of America had another 2,000.

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