H&R Block Moves National Broadcast Buying to CM

CHICAGO—H&R Block has shifted national broadcast buying duties to its creative shop, Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. The client spent $35 million on national broadcast in 2001, according to CMR, but Block has said that it plans to spend $100 million on marketing in 2002 [Adweek, Jan. 28]. CM won creative and media planning duties on the account two years ago, but WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia retained media buying at the time. Buying duties will be divided among CM, its subsidiary Cash Plus, and sister Magna Global, a CM representative said. H&R Block executives could not be reached.

Richards Presents to Hyundai Dealers

LOS ANGELES—The Richards Group last week presented capabilities to several Hyundai Motor America regional dealer groups as the shop vies for the $180 million creative business, the Fountain Valley, Calif., client confirmed. Bates USA West in Irvine, Calif., handles dealer work but recently lost national creative duties to Richards in Dallas. A decision is due next month, the client said.

BBDO, TBWA\C\D Gain Mars Brands

NEW YORK—Mars has reassigned creative duties on several U.S. brands, following the firing of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. Roster shop BBDO in New York picked up Skittles, and TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., is joining the roster to handle Uncle Ben’s, Whiskas and Seeds of Change, the client confirmed. Last year, Mars spent about $20 million on media on Skittles, $30 million on Uncle Ben’s, $15 million on Whiskas and nothing on Seeds of Change, according to CMR.

The Array Cut From $50 Mil. Chrysler Review

DETROIT—The Array, one of four agency alliances competing for the Chrysler Group’s $50 million multicultural account, has been eliminated, the automaker said. The remaining groups—PASS Urban, Powertrain and SIP—will make presentations over two weeks, starting on June 10. Chrysler executives also last week met with The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who, with The Rev. Al Sharpton, has told Chrysler that shops competing for the account must meet their criteria for being minority owned and operated entities.

Senate Committee OKs Internet Privacy Bill

WASHINGTON—The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed an Internet privacy bill last Thursday that would give the Federal Trade Commission broad authority to establish privacy rules for businesses. The bill has sparked ad-industry criticism for a provision to fine companies, including ad agencies, that mishandle personally identifiable data. The bill will now be debated by the entire Senate.

Account Activity

IHOP Corp. last week issued a six-page RFP to 21 undisclosed agencies for its $30 million creative account. Atlanta-based consultant Gregg Nettleton is managing the search. IHOP split with Heil-Brice Retail Advertising, Newport Beach, Calif., last month. … TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., and New York’s Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Bozell await a decision on Verizon SuperPages’ $30-40 million account, following pitches two weeks ago.