Catherine Bension, president-CEO of consultancy Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., which is handling the search, said the incumbent agency, Dieste, was invited but declined to participate in the review.
The agency is one of three
Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, remains agency of record handling general advertising and direct marketing for the overall H&R Block brand.
Spending not disclosed
Spending on the Hispanic effort was not disclosed. However, H&R Block has almost doubled its advertising budget in the last three years, increasing spending from $35.3 million in measured media in 2000 to $60.5 million for the first 10 months of 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
Karl Ploeger, vice president of creative and media Services for H&R Block, said the company plans to continue expanding its advertising presence in the Hispanic market.
Ms. Bension said a decision is expected by in late March or early April.
Other Hispanic search
The H&R search is the second Hispanic marketing review Select Resources is conducting since January. DirecTV also has begun a search for an Hispanic shop for its estimated $6 million advertising account. Interpublic's Casanova Pendrill, Irvine, Calif., the incumbent for DirecTV, is participating in the review. Interpublic sibling Deutsch, Los Angeles, handles DirecTV's general advertising.
~ ~ ~
Laurel Wentz contributed to this report.