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March 31st, 2011

FirstMerit Banking on Brokaw



CLEVELAND, April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — FirstMerit Corporation (FMER: 17.695 +0.105 +0.60%) is taking its brand to new levels and new markets with a new advertising agency. Following an agency review, the growing Midwest regional bank, with 207 branches in Akron, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and western PA determined Brokaw Inc. had the digital and creative expertise to position FirstMerit as a Midwest superregional bank.  Brokaw will provide brand strategy, digital, creative, PR, and media services. Billings were not disclosed.

“Brokaw’s talent, enthusiasm and ability to help FirstMerit differentiate ourselves amongst the competition were all evident from the first conversation,” said Julie Tutkovics, Chief Marketing Officer for FirstMerit. “We are thrilled at this new strategic partnership and are very confident about the value that it will bring to the marketing and communications efforts of the Bank.”

Brokaw, a full-service agency located in Cleveland, Ohio, has established itself as an award-winning center for strategic-creative-digital advertising, which it has developed for such clients as vitaminwater global, Fazoli’s, CLE, and University Hospitals.  Brokaw’s focus will be to help define and sharpen FirstMerit’s value proposition and develop a unified integrated campaign that can speak to multiple audiences—including FirstMerit’s retail, commercial, and wealth management customers.

Within the last year, FirstMerit acquired 47 branches in Chicago.  It also has expanded its small business, commercial lending, and wealth management services.  These changes have taken FirstMerit from a community bank to a Midwest super-community regional bank with strong commercial banking resources. The bank just reported its 47th-straight quarterly profit, which was nearly double from a year ago.

“We are ecstatic about this new partnership and the incredible potential here,” said Tim Brokaw, CO-CEO at Brokaw Inc. “Our goal is to grow with FirstMerit.”