Primary incumbent BBDO has failed to advance to the semifinals of the California Lottery Commission review.
According to the client, still in contention are: Omnicom's Alcone Marketing Group, which already handles promotions; independents David & Goliath and Ignited; IPG's McCann Worldgroup; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney.
Each of those shops is pitching with a media partner.
The client spent $35 million on ads last year and nearly $100 million in major measured media from 2006-09, according to Nielsen. The contract now up for grabs will run for five years with a two-year extension option.
Asked why BBDO didn't make the cut, a lottery representative said the commission would not comment on the evaluation process until after a winner is selected in late October. Finalists are expected to be disclosed on Aug. 17.
BBDO, which partnered with Omnicom media shop PHD, originally won a three-year contract in 2004, and subsequently received three one-year contract extensions.
The agency created a campaign, themed, "Imagine what a buck could do," focusing on winners using their windfalls on good works rather than spending it on themselves. One commercial, for instance, showed a lottery winner who built a large baseball stadium just so his family could play together at their reunion. The contracts for BBDO and PHD expire Jan. 31, 2011.
"We are proud of the work we have done for the lottery over the past six years and wish them every success," a spokesperson for BBDO West said. PHD reps could not be reached.
For its latest fiscal year, the lottery notched an $85 million sales increase to $3.04 billion, the first improvement in the past four years. Sales hit an all-time high of $3.59 billion in '06, before the recession took hold.
The lottery's recent review history is complex and convoluted. In 2001, Omnicom's DDB was awarded the business before a protest by WPP's Grey prompted the commission to put the business back into review. IPG's FCB (now part of Draftfcb) won the assignment next, but DDB contested media costs submitted by FCB and its partner Initiative.
The commission then rebid the media portion of the account, which IPG's McCann Erickson won, but that decision was rescinded over disclosure issues. More tumult followed until ultimately, in April 2004, BBDO and PHD were awarded the assignment.