Print Page Close Window

Washington Mutual Kicks off Hispanic Advertising Campaign; Selects Zubi Advertising as Hispanic Agency of Record

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 buying.

"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