After sitting on the sidelines during the Super Bowl, financial services companies are casting their ballots - in the form of advertising dollars - for the Oscars.

Executives in charge of advertising at some financial services companies say the exorbitant prices and dot-com clutter of commercials during the Super Bowl have dampened the appeal of that event, though it is always the most widely watched show on television. The Academy Awards presentation, which airs Sunday night, is the second-biggest annual ratings grabber and has become the venue of choice for financial advertisers including American Express Co., Charles Schwab Corp., and New York Life.

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