Illinois Lottery Seeking Players

$18 Million Prize Awaits a Single Winner
CHICAGO–Illinois agencies with Chicago offices can try their luck in pitching the $18 million state lottery account, which is being thrown into review after seven years at Foote, Cone & Belding.
“We just really think it makes good business sense; it’s been a long time [since the last review],” said Cathy Beres, deputy director of marketing for the Illinois Lottery.
Numerous agency sources suggested, however, that the state-run business is political by nature, and the review stems from a change in the state’s administration. George Ryan took office last year following fellow Republican Jim Edgar’s decision to step down after two terms. The account was not reviewed during the seven years it has been at FCB, Beres said.
Nonetheless, the size of the account and its creative possibilities will likely mean healthy interest in the review, sources predicted.
FCB is “encouraged to participate,” said Beres, who is heading the search. Proposal requests were sent out last week and are due back July 30. Four to six finalists will be chosen in mid-August, with a decision expected by October.
The account includes media planning and buying. Beres said she is looking at shops with at least $70 million in billings and a commitment to integrated marketing. The lottery employs TV, print, radio, outdoor and Internet advertising in promoting its products.
Beres said she didn’t think the in-state requirement was a state law.
“We try to keep all of our business in Illinois–advertising, production, talent,” she said.