H&R Block Begins Online Search

CHICAGO H&R Block is contacting agencies about its online and digital tax business, the company confirmed. Interpublic Group agencies Campbell Mithun and MRM Partners are the company’s lead agencies.

“We have invited a number of agencies with strong track records of successfully marketing brands online to develop creative strategy alternatives for the online business,” said a company representative in an e-mailed statement. “Both Campbell-Mithun and MRM Partners are aware of this decision and are actively involved in this process.”

The representative added CM and MRM remain “agencies of record” for the Kansas City, Mo., company. Recent work from Minneapolis agency Campbell Mithun has focused on the company’s green square logo, though its best-known advertising is probably a pair of Super Bowl television spots featuring Willie Nelson.

The search comes just after H&R Block announced it would acquire TaxNet, a San Diego company that provides online tax services.

Billings for the online business could not immediately be determined. The company spent just under $10 million advertising its online tax services Web site last year, but well under $1 million during the first quarter of 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The company has already spent $90 million—nearly its entire ad budget for the year—in 2005, according to Nielsen.

—Adweek staff report