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H&R Block Assigns Online Account

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BOSTON H&R Block has selected Interpublic Group's Mullen to create ads supporting its online tax preparation business, according to sources.

Estimated billings are $10 million, and Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen prevailed in a review that included IPG siblings Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and MRM Partners in New York, both of which are H&R Block roster agencies.

The client in Kansas City, Mo., had confirmed a review for the business and said Campbell Mithun and MRM were competing [Adweek Online, July 11].

A Mullen representative referred questions to the client, where reps could not immediately be reached for comment.

The assignment consists mainly of crafting television and print ads directing consumers to try Block's tax services Web site.

The search began this summer shortly after H&R Block announced it would acquire TaxNet, a San Diego company that provides online tax services.

The company spent just under $10 million advertising its tax services site last year, but well under $1 million during the first three quarters of 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

All told, H&R Block spent $100 million on ads through September after spending $90 million in 2004, per Nielsen.

Recent branding work from Campbell Mithun has focused on the company's green square logo, though its best-known advertising is probably a pair of Super Bowl TV spots featuring Willie Nelson, the country music star who also gained notoriety for not paying taxes.