$100 Mil. H&R Block Briefs 5

CHICAGO Executives from H&R Block this week will meet with five contenders vying for the company’s $100 million advertising account, according to sources.

Agencies expected to be briefed are: Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., Havas’ Arnold in Boston, Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago, and IPG shops Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and Mullen in Wenham, Mass. (both already on the client’s roster), sources said.

Representatives of those agencies either could not be reached or referred calls to the client, where a representative was not immediately available. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is conducting the search.

The bulk of the Kansas City, Mo., company’s account is handled by Campbell Mithun, which has held the business since 2000. Mullen late last year won a $10 million project to create ads supporting H&R Block’s online tax preparation service.

In confirming the review in February, SRI said the client was looking for a “highly strategic and creative agency” to handle advertising, media planning and buying, and interactive marketing.

The company spent $100 million on measured media in 2004 and more than that through November 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

—Adweek staff report