3 Shops Vie for Atlantic City Tourism Account

Initial media budget is about $20 million

Atlantic City’s search for an agency to drum up tourism is winding down, with three New York shops still in the hunt.

The agencies—Euro RSCG, Arnold and Draftfcb—traveled to the New Jersey shore point this week for a round of work sessions. Another round is expected before final presentations, which are slated for late January.

The finalists emerged from a broader field of about a half-dozen shops that executives from the Alliance for Atlantic City visited in December. Another New York agency, The Kaplan Thaler Group, had advanced to the final stage but subsequently exited, creating an opening for Draftfcb.

The alliance, under new CEO Liza Cartmell, has budgeted $20 million initially for tourism marketing—a role that the group assumed last year from the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, which now focuses on luring conventions. Beyond creative efforts, the ad assignment includes the planning and buying of media, according to Roth Associates, the New York consultancy managing the search.

The nonprofit alliance is a joint venture of private casino owners and the State of New Jersey, which established the group through legislation. The casino owners provide the funding.