Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.

H&R Block: David Byers

By Published on .

H&R Block has found a less-taxing way to make money.

The company began to reposition in 2000 as a year-round financial services provider to the same households that rely on Block's expertise in tax services. David Byers, senior VP-chief marketing officer since 1999, led the effort.

Block leveraged its 16 million tax clients to introduce services, including financial planning and mutual funds, through new H&R Block Financial Centers that are open all year long.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, in January broke a campaign tagged "Just plain smart." The goal was to position Block as the plain-speaking, accessible provider of financial services to Middle America. The effort included a million-dollar contest tie-in with "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, as well as other tie-ins with retailers and technology companies.

It was the first Block work from Campbell Mithun, an agency Mr. Byers hired to replace WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York. Media buying remained at Young & Rubicam's the Media Edge.

The cross-sell is working, says Mr. Byers, 40, a former senior VP and director of business development at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, San Francisco.

Block posted record results for the fiscal year ended April 30, and President-CEO Mark A. Ernst credited in part strategic targeting of marketing efforts to attract tax clients with more complex returns.

A campaign breaking in November will promote all of Block's major lines of business. It will be the first time it has advertised outside the tax season.

Most Popular
In this article: