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Press Release Details

H&R Block Launches First Financial Service Campaign Leveraging New Lines of Business; Overlooked Mainstream America Finds Financial Advice with Trusted Partner

December 19, 2001
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec 19, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- H&R Block today launched the first wave in a multi-faceted, multi-million dollar marketing and advertising campaign, which is a reflection of the company's expanded lines of business. The financial services campaign, H&R Block's first effort highlighting financial services, embodies H&R Block's mission "to help clients achieve their financial objectives by serving as their tax and financial partner."

"H&R Block has been building capabilities in the financial service and mortgage business," noted David Byers, H&R Block senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "We believe now, in light of uncertainty in the markets, is the right time to announce these services to Americans who could use a trusted partner to provide them financial guidance."

The national broadcast and print effort specific to financial services through H&R Block Financial Advisors debuts mid-December in business and news programming. Three 30-second television spots pair the Guess Who hit song "No Time" with imagery and messaging to appeal to mainstream Americans who, according to Yankelovich Monitor 2000 data, have been long overlooked by traditional financial service firms. The campaign developed by Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun, presents H&R Block Financial Advisors as a convenient and easily managed way for consumers to obtain the advice and counsel they need in an approachable manner.

"H&R Block has been a trusted source for tax preparation expertise for more than 45 years," said Byers. "The financial services campaign is a true manifestation of our business strategy. The Block name has been synonymous with tax preparation, now we want America to know we can help them reach their financial goals too."

The first spot "Invisible Man" illustrates how many Americans feel overlooked by financial companies. It shows a typical mainstream American trying to climb steps while being impeded by business-suited pedestrians, while a voiceover explains, "Why do 63 percent of Americans think most financial companies aren't interested in helping them?"

"Revolving Door" illustrates the confusion many consumers face while managing their banking and investment accounts. The spot introduces Block's new Wealth Management product, unlike anything else in market, demonstrating unique advantages H&R Block Financial Advisors offers Americans to streamline their banking, investments and tax services relationships. A third spot, "Slamming Doors", further highlights Americans disenfranchisement from traditional financial service providers. It encourages potential clients to go to H&R Block Financial Advisors for a free financial review.

The Campbell Mithun creative team on the H&R Block Financial Service effort includes Creative Director George Halvorson, Art Director Bill Winchester, Copywriter Barb Meeker and Producer John Borchardt. Production houses included Boxer Films with Director Justin Klarenbeck. Skylab Music handled the music production.

The accompanying print campaign provides a consumer call to action while featuring H&R Block Financial Advisors products and services including the Wealth Management Account and the Free Financial Review.

In upcoming weeks, H&R Block expects to announce additional marketing activities including significant and high profile media investments as well as specifics for its 2002 tax season advertising and marketing campaign.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. is a diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of financial services and products. In 2001, H&R Block served 19.2 million taxpayers - more than any tax or accounting firm - through its more than 10,400 offices located in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. H&R Block served another 2.3 million tax clients through its award-winning TaxCut(R) software program and its online tax preparation services. Investment services and securities products are offered through H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc., member NYSE, SIPC. H&R Block, Inc. is not a registered broker-dealer. H&R Block Mortgage Corporation and Option One Mortgage Corporation offer a wide range of home mortgage products. RSM McGladrey, Inc. is a national accounting, tax and consulting firm with more than 100 offices nationwide, as well as an affiliation with 550 offices in 75 countries as the U.S. member of RSM International. Additional information is available on the company's Web site at www.hrblock.com.

About Campbell Mithun

Headquartered in Minneapolis and with offices in Chicago, New York, San Diego and Irvine, Calif., Campbell Mithun is a $1.03 billion diversified national marketing communications agency. Agency resources and clients are structured around three core practice areas: Packaged Goods & Special Segments (including Campbell Mithun KidCom(TM) and Campbell Mithun Health); Technology & Services; and Retail & E-Commerce Development. Campbell Mithun provides additional specialized communications services via wholly-owned and independent subsidiaries Cash Plus (broadcast placement and programming); Pedersen Gesk (package design); and Cassanova Pendrill (Hispanic marketing). Additional information about the agency can be found on the Web at www.campbellmithun.com.

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CONTACT: H&R Block, Kansas City
Janine Smiley, 816/932-4871
or
Campbell Mithun
Emily Schroeder-Orvik, 612/347-1391

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