Weber Shandwick Picks up Part of $20m IRS Program
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Weber Shandwick Picks up Part of $20m IRS Program

Weber Shandwick Worldwide is part of a team of Interpublic firms, led by advertising agency Foote Cone & Belding, that has picked up a potential $20 million a year account from the Internal Revenue Service.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, May 13—Weber Shandwick Worldwide is part of a team of Interpublic firms, led by advertising agency Foote Cone & Belding, that has picked up a potential $20 million a year account from the Internal Revenue Service.
 
FCB and WSW will develop a strategic communications and marketing campaign to encourage overall tax compliance and increase electronic filing of returns to meet a 1998 Congressional mandate. The program includes advertising, interactive and direct marketing, corporate communications, market research, and multicultural communications among other elements.
 
The program was won using what FCB calls its “Model of One” approach, providing fully integrated communication capabilities under one management team. While BSMG—previously a sister company of FCB’s under the True North umbrella and now part of Weber Shandwick Worldwide—had partnered with the ad agency in the past, this is the first major joint win for the new WSW.
 
The account will be co-managed by FCB and Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis office, which has significant experience in the financial services and electronic payments arena, having previously worked for the Direct Deposit and Direct Payment Coalition—a partnership of the Federal Reserve, NACHA: The Electronic Payments Association, and regional ACH associations—and for the Minnesota tax department.
 
According to Jeff Tarakajian, president and CEO of FCB New York, “The IRS presents a unique, multi-faceted challenge in reaching out to its various audiences. The depth and scope of this business will allow FCB to provide a mix of world-class services to this important government arm to reach the American public on various levels.”
Other partners on the account include FCBi and Analytici, and Montemayor y Associatos, a specialist in Hispanic marketing.
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