H&R BLOCK PUTS $80 MILLION ACCOUNT IN REVIEW

Incumbent Is Campbell Mithun

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Tax-services provider H&R Block has placed its $80 million-plus advertising account, now at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Campbell Mithun, into review. The marketer said it is seeking an integrated marketing communications effort for the 2007 tax season.

Campbell Mithun, which has handled the account since 2000, has been invited to pitch, as well as Interpublic sibling Mullen, which won duties for digital work following a review late last year. The search will not include other shops currently working on the brand -- Cruz-Kravetz, Los Angeles, which handles Hispanic advertising, and Due North, Toronto, the marketer's agency in Canada. Other agencies participating were not disclosed.

Consultant
Consultant Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is handling the pitch.

Kathy Collins, H&R Block's VP-marketing communications and brand management, said the marketer was pleased with Campbell Mithun’s work, but because "the tax category is changing dramatically both in retail and digital businesses, we want to explore new approaches and encourage fresh, innovative thinking.”

Chief Marketing Officer Brad Iverson said the tax preparer wants a "highly strategic and creative partner who can leverage new insights and thinking to increase our relevance to the consumer and help Block retain its unequivocal position as leader in the tax category. The agency must understand the complexity of our business and be able to deploy best-in-class integrated marketing strategies.”

No budget was cited, but H&R Block spent $80 million in measured media for the first 10 months of 2005, up from $79 million for full-year 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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