New York Lottery Cuts to Finalists

DDB has been lead creative agency since 2001

The New York Lottery has narrowed the field in the review of its creative and media accounts, with three finalists competing for each assignment.

The creative contenders are McCann Erickson, FCB Garfinkel and the incumbent, DDB, according to a representative for the New York State Gaming Commission. The media finalists, the rep added, are UM, Initiative and incumbent OMD.

Annual media spending approaches $50 million.

The Gaming Commission launched the review in the spring. At the time, DDB was considered likely to retain the creative business given its longstanding relationship and award-winning work. Also, the odds of retaining government accounts are better than in the private sector, where an incumbent may have a 10 percent chance at best.

Since then, however, DDB New York chief creative officer Matt Eastwood has left for JWT and longtime Lottery account leader Leo Mamorsky has joined FCB Garfinkel. In fact, sources said that FCB hired Mamorsky as a group management director in a bid to increase its own odds in the review. What's more, FCB Garfinkel CEO Lee Garfinkel knows the business from his years as chairman and chief creative officer at DDB (2003-2009).

So, DDB has its work cut out for itself. Consider this fact, however: the agency also handled the business from 1988 to 1998, meaning DDB has worked on the Lottery for 23 of the last 26 years. (Grey was the agency from 1998 to 2001.) That's a lot of experience for the rivals to overcome.

The next step is a series of question-and-answer sessions, followed by final presentations in late August and early September, according to a timeline in the Lottery's RFP. There will be separate pitches for the creative and media assignments, with final selections expected in October.

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