SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 2006--Washington Mutual
(NYSE:WM) today kicked off a Hispanic advertising campaign to support
its highly successful new WaMu Free Checking(TM) product. The company
also announced it has selected Miami-based Zubi Advertising Services,
Inc. as its new Hispanic ad agency of record.
The radio, television, print and out-of-home ads will promote
features of the new WaMu Free Checking(TM) product that resonate with
Hispanic consumers, such as free outbound wire transfers, free ATM
withdrawals, free checks for life, and free low-balance alerts with
online banking, among other features.
"The Latino market has been and will continue to be the most
significant growth market in America. We've been serving the Latino
market every step of the way and will continue to make the WaMu
banking experience simpler and more welcoming as we provide our
authentic approach to serving all our customers," said Chris Matthews,
Washington Mutual's senior vice president of advertising and branding.
Building Brand Recognition with the Latino Community
"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," added Matthews.
"We are delighted to partner with Zubi Advertising to build our brand
recognition and market position with Latinos."
Zubi Advertising, a leading independent U.S. Hispanic advertising
agency, will provide full-service integrated Hispanic marketing
programs for Washington Mutual and oversee its Hispanic market media
"As a true leader in the financial services industry, Washington
Mutual has raised the bar by providing a unique combination of
excellent customer service and top-tier financial products," said Joe
Zubizarreta, chief operating officer for Zubi Advertising. "We are
excited to be working for a company that cares as much about their
customers as we care about ours."
Washington Mutual introduced the WaMu Free Checking(TM) account in
mid-March and has already seen a very positive response from
consumers. In fact, the company reported that the WaMu Free
Checking(TM) account generated record levels of new accounts during
the first three months of 2006. Net new checking account growth of
340,000 during the first quarter of 2006 represented a 68 percent
increase in account growth from a year ago.
About Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) is one of the nation's leading
consumer and small business banks. At March 31, 2006, Washington
Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $348.67 billion. The company
was established in 1889 and currently operates more than 2,600
consumer and small business banking stores throughout the nation.
Washington Mutual's press releases are available at
The new WaMu Free Checking(TM) account features:
Free ATM Cash Withdrawals -- Washington Mutual will not charge for
withdrawals from this account at non-Washington Mutual ATMs anywhere
in the world. (Non-refundable ATM operator and foreign currency
exchange and transaction fees may apply).
Free Checks for Life -- Customers ordering their checks through
Washington Mutual can get them for free; select styles are available.
Free OD/NSF Fee (one per year) -- One OD or NSF fee refund each
anniversary year; unused refunds can be carried over.
Free Gold Debit MasterCard(R) with Rewards -- The account comes with
a Gold Debit MasterCard(R) and Washington Mutual will give a reward
(currently $0.03) for each Debit MasterCard purchase transaction (pin
or signature) during the prior year up to a $250 reward if the account
is open and in good standing on the anniversary date.
Free Outgoing Wire Transfers -- Washington Mutual will not charge for
outbound international or domestic wire transfers. (Non-refundable
foreign currency exchange charges and intermediary and beneficiary
bank fees may apply.)
Free ID Theft Services -- Customers will receive recovery assistance
if they ever become the victim of identity theft.
Free e-Alerts -- Low balance, large withdrawal, and OD event
notification alerts sent by e-mail. (Enrollment in free online banking
service is required.)
Other features -- No monthly fee, no direct deposit requirement,
option of free check return or check storage, free teller access, no
per check charges, free account access at more than 3,600 Washington
Mutual ATMs nationwide, free 24/7 telephone banking, free personal
online banking with Personal Bill Pay Service(R)
CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Lotus Lou, 206-377-8178 (Media Contact)
Alan Magleby, 212-326-6019 (Investor Relations Contact)
SOURCE: Washington Mutual