New York (Feb. 24, 2003) -- Following a barrage of letters and phone calls from outraged CPAs and their leadership, H&R Block has agreed to remove a TV ad the American Institute of CPAs called "insulting" and offensive to the profession.The TV spot to be eliminated depicts a seemingly confused taxpayer, searching for a tax preparer while walking down dark streets filled with neon CPA signs. He eventually arrives at the bright H&R Block offices. Many CPAs called and emailed the AICPA, with some saying the ads made CPAs seem "daunting," "threatening," and "unsavory."
AICPA president Barry Melancon revealed the victory Monday in an open letter to his members, stating he and Block CEO Mark Ernst had conversations about two "insulting ads." The letter indicated that Ernst agreed to "instruct his marketing team to remove one of the ads from their ad schedule."
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