Tax Services Industry Pumped Up Ad Dollars In 2008

Tax Services Industry Pumped Up Ad Dollars In 2008

With the 2009 tax deadline quickly approaching, Nielsen conducted an audit of its own, looking back at how tax service companies spent their advertising dollars in 2008.

The Tax Services category spent $220 million in 2008 on ads, an increase of 11% from 2007. Over one-third of the 2008 total was spent on Cable TV ($76.9 million), followed by Spot TV ($40.5 million), and Network TV ($35.7 million).

Over half ($125.8 million) of the budget was spent in the first quarter – the three months leading up to the April deadline. That was followed by the fourth quarter ($36.9 million, 17%). The third quarter had the least amount of advertising – $25.6 million, or 12% of the year’s ad spending.


RANK ADVERTISER 2008 AD SPEND (millions) % CHANGE ’08 vs. ’07
1 H&R Block Inc. $89.4 1%
2 American Tax Relief $28.3 97%
3 Jackson Hewitt Tax Svc. Inc. $26.7 -8%
4 JKH Holding Co. $19.2 -19%
5 Tmirs Enterprises Ltd (Taxmasters) $7.2 88%
TOTAL $170.9 7%
source: The Nielsen Company 2009

Spending by the top five advertisers in the Tax Services category totaled $170.9 million for 2008, a 7% increase from 2007. H&R Block, the largest advertiser last year, essentially kept its budget flat from 2007.

As an indication of the economic struggles Americans have been facing, American Tax Relief, a company specializing in settling individual tax debts, showed the largest percent increase from 2007 to 2008 (+97%, +$14 million). American Tax Relief’s ad budget has grown more than twenty-fold since 2004, when its spending was just $1.3 million.

For more information on ad spend in the Tax and Financial Services industries, click here.