Bernstein-Rein Gets Mortgage Lender

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Thornburg Mortgage Inc. appointed Bernstein-Rein Advertising Inc.'s brand relationship group as its marketing agency of record on an account valued at nearly $2 million.

The yearlong contract was won by the Kansas City, MO, shop without an agency review. An undisclosed agency in New York was the incumbent.

"I think the big challenge is there's not a lot of brand recognition for them right now," said Christa Spencer, direct strategist at Bernstein-Rein. "Mortgages have a lot of banks out there and lots of players, so we need to get people into the door to use them."

The win adds to Bernstein-Rein's portfolio of clients like Thrifty Car Rental, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Blockbuster Video.

Thornburg is a single-family residential mortgage lender with assets of $10.4 billion. The Santa Fe, NM, company specializes in hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages of $322,700 and up. It maintains full ownership of them for the life of the mortgage.

Marketing will focus on boosting the number of mortgages Thornburg originates. Bernstein-Rein will work on strategy, research, creative, direct mail, database, Internet and e-mail marketing, and direct response trade publication ads to target consumers and intermediaries.

"Our goal is to make Thornburg Mortgage one of the top 50 mortgage companies [in the U.S.]," Spencer said.

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