Conn. Casinos Step Up Ad War

The battle of Connecticut’s casinos has intensified with Cliff Freeman and Partners adding Mohegan Sun’s advertising account as rival Foxwoods Resort Casino launched an effects-laden TV salvo.

Cliff Freeman of New York, following a review, replaces Mohegan Sun’s five-year incumbent Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn.

“We’re pleased, after this long review process, to be able to focus all our energies into our many [other] fine client relationships,” said Mintz CEO Chris Knopf in a statement. Mohegan Sun had been the agency’s highest-profile assignment and one of its larger pieces of business. It could not be determined Friday if the shop, which recently endured layoffs will make staffing cuts.

Mintz was a finalist along with New York shop Merkley Newman Harty and Deutsch, which pitched through its offices in both Boston and New York.

Spending by Mohegan Sun has been $7 million in each of the past two years, but is expected to rise as the Uncasville, Conn., client steps up its marketing war against the nearby Foxwoods gaming facility in Mashantucket, Conn.

Foxwoods, through Trahan, Burden & Charles, Baltimore, has launched 60- and 30-second versions of a new spot in its campaign starring guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli. The effort features a super-sized piano and Foxwoods’ trademark theme song, “The Wonder of It All.”