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Washington Mutual Selects Leo Burnett USA as Ad Agency Of Record

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2005--Washington Mutual Inc. (NYSE:WM) today announced it has selected Leo Burnett USA as its new ad agency of record.

Leo Burnett USA will be responsible for developing Washington Mutual's advertising campaigns and overseeing its mass-market media buying. The company declined to disclose the exact size of its annual advertising budget, but confirmed it averages over $100 million a year.

"We have built a great consumer friendly brand and have led the market with new and innovative financial products and services that appeal to everyday consumers and small businesses," said Washington Mutual's Chief Marketing Officer Genevieve Smith. "We are excited about working with Leo Burnett and believe their creativity and extensive advertising expertise will further leverage our brand and better enable us to stand out from the competition."

Leo Burnett USA President Rich Stoddart said, "Washington Mutual is a thought leader in the financial services industry. They have revolutionized banking and infused a once staid industry with a customer-centric approach that has become a model for others. We look forward to partnering with Washington Mutual as they continue to raise the bar."

Leo Burnett to work in tandem with brand agency Wolff Olins

Washington Mutual announced in October that it had selected Wolff Olins as its brand agency of record. Founded in 1965, the company is an international brand consultancy noted for its strategic and visionary work for clients with both national and international presences. Wolff Olins will work in tandem with Leo Burnett to further solidify Washington Mutual's unique brand position nationally.

Smith added, "We fully expect there to be a high degree of collaboration between the two partner agencies, and we ultimately believe this synergy will enable us to take our brand of banking to the next level."

Washington Mutual recognized for its brand of banking

Washington Mutual, which is recognized both nationally and internationally for its brand of banking, pioneered the concept that everyday consumers and small businesses deserve great products delivered with respect and caring service. The company was named among the top 10 financial services brands in terms of brand equity by the Harris Interactive Brand and Reputation Practice in 2005, and Fortune magazine announced that Washington Mutual was the No. 1 rated company nationally in the innovation category as part of the publication's 2004 Most Admired Companies list. In addition, Washington Mutual was named one of the Top 40 retail store concepts worldwide by the Retail Industry Leaders Association in January 2005.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and commercial clients. At September 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $333.62 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at www.wamunewsroom.com.

About Leo Burnett, USA

Leo Burnett USA helps build many of the world's most valuable brands, including McDonald's, Disney, Procter & Gamble, Marlboro, Altoids, Kellogg and Nintendo. As the most awarded agency at the Effie Awards for four straight years, Leo Burnett USA is the "Most Effective Agency in America." The country's second largest agency brand as ranked by Advertising Age, Leo Burnett USA is the flagship office of Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., a global network of over 200 operating units including a variety of specialty marketing services and 94 full-service advertising agencies in 82 countries. Leo Burnett Worldwide (www.leoburnett.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Publicis Groupe (www.publicis.com).


CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878
Alan Gulick, 206-377-3637

SOURCE: Washington Mutual