Bank marketing executives have a tough decision to make: On one hand, they need to cut costs due to recessionary pressures; on the other, depositors appear more open than ever to change their banking provider, so there could be more opportunity than usual for an effective marketing campaign.

According to The Nielsen Company, financial services ad spending dropped 10 percent last year and this year won't be much better due to so many mortgage players leaving the game and because of consolidation. Other estimates vary, but most predict a percentage decline in the mid- to high-single digits.

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