Zimmerman Emerges Victorious From Jackson Hewitt Review

Omnicom Shop Will Lead Team on $30 Million Marketing Account

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Tax preparer Jackson Hewitt has picked an Omnicom Group team led by Zimmerman Advertising to handle its $30 million marketing account, according to executives familiar with the matter.

A final-round shootout saw Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zimmerman emerge the winner over an Interpublic Group of Cos.' team led by Lowe. Independent shop DeVito/Verdi, New York, which previously handled creative duties on the account, did not defend the business.

The company -- which has roughly 6,800 franchised and company-owned offices and competes with H&R Block -- launched an agency review earlier this year in which it asked holding companies to propose solution teams. At Omnicom, the pitch was handled through its Diversified Agency Services unit.

Experienced leader
Jackson Hewitt's current senior VP-chief marketing officer, Doug Foster, is no stranger to seeking integrated solutions under a single holding-company umbrella. While clocking time as a top marketer at convenience retailer 7-Eleven, he helped create "Freshworks" at Omnicom, pulling together various subsidiaries of the holding company to create an agency specifically designed to service the company's business.

Representatives at Jackson Hewitt did not immediately return calls for comment. Agency representatives and ABA Consulting in Dallas, which guided the review process, declined to comment.

Parsippany, N.J.-based Jackson Hewitt spent $30 million on domestic measured media in 2007, and $23 million between January and March of 2008 ahead of tax season, according to TNS Media Intelligence figures.

Familiar rivals
The showdown between Lowe and Zimmerman marks the second time the two agencies were pitted against each other in the final round of a review in recent months. Both shops competed in a pitch for the Aruba Tourism Authority's $10 million account, in which Lowe emerged the winner.