Lottery Changes Decision as IPG Nixes Bonds

ATLANTA The North Carolina Lottery said it has selected Wray Ward Laseter to provide advertising after the lottery’s original choice, Howard, Merrell & Partners, withdrew from consideration.

HMP said it withdrew after its parent company, Interpublic Group, declined to buy performance and payment bonds for the account. The lottery said last week that it selected HMP [Adweek Online, Feb. 17] but had not signed a contract with the Raleigh, N.C., shop because it had not provided the $1 million in bonds required in the initial proposal request.

A representative for HMP said the parent company “had issues” with the bond requirement. “IPG could not resolve the issues in a timely fashion,” the statement from HMP said. “As a result, IPG advised HMP to withdraw from consideration. And, we have.

“The entire staff of HMP is extremely disappointed,” the statement continues. “We put a lot of time and effort into the bidding process and we were looking forward to working with the North Carolina Education Lottery.”

IPG said, in statement released later Tuesday, “Our decision had absolutely nothing to do with our ability to secure this $1 million bond, an inconsequential amount in the context of our company’s financial capacity. Instead, our decision was based on strategic considerations.”

WWL was one of three finalists for the $8 million account. The lottery said it began negotiations with WWL and Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., after HMP withdrew.

“We were impressed with WWL’s strategic insights, creative thinking and enthusiasm,” said Tom Shaheen, the lottery’s executive director. “With their breadth and depth of experience, including two WWL staff members who have worked with successful lotteries, we are confident that WWL will be invaluable members of our team.”

WWL has been awarded a three-year contract for the account. The independent Charlotte, N.C., shop will produce broadcast, print, outdoor and point-of-sale material for the lottery, which begins selling tickets in April.