H&R ads back repositioning

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H&R Block, Kansas City, Mo., broke a $100 million marketing campaign Jan. 12 backing the company's effort to reposition from a tax preparation company to a year-round financial services provider. The company is introducing new services including financial planning, a brokerage, mutual funds and mortgages. The services will be available through a new network of H&R Block Financial Centers that will be open year-round and via a redesigned Web site (hrblock.com), which will also offer online banking and insurance services. Advertising from Y&R Advertising, Chicago, will include 21 TV spots as well as print, outdoor and online ads, and collateral in the 94 Financial Center locations. Block wants to leverage its customer base of 16.5 million households that trust the company with their taxes, but who don't have financial advisers, said Chief Marketing Officer David Byers. "We're targeting Mainstream America . . . everyone who's not a high roller on Wall Street,'' he said. "Mainstream America has a lot of money stuffed in the mattress and on CDs in the bank.''

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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