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California Lottery Endorses Selection of BBDO

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LOS ANGELES The California Lottery Commission today approved the decision to award the lottery's four-year, $100 million general-market ad account to BBDO West.

In a meeting held at lottery headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., the commission also approved an amendment to add $6 million in funds to the contract handled by the incumbent, Grey Global Groupe's Grey in Los Angeles. Grey has handled the account since 1997. The contract with Omnicom Group's BBDO West in San Francisco goes into effect May 1.

BBDO edged out fellow Omnicom shop DDB in Venice, Calif.; Interpublic Group's Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif.; Grey; and independent Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Calif., to win the account.

"They offered a truly unique approach and insight to our business," said lottery director of marketing Jim Hasegawa. "They were able to reach our audience quite well."

The award is the final chapter in a review that stretched on for nearly three years. While three previous agencies had been selected to handle the business, the lottery overturned those decisions.

"I thought the process was very clear, very structured and well thought-out," said BBDO West president and CEO Tom Hollerbach. "It was very effective and the fact that there weren't any protests shows how effective it was."

DDB was named the first winner, but following a protest from Grey over disclosure issues, the account was placed back in review. IPG's Foote Cone & Belding in San Francisco was selected in the second review, but after DDB protested over media costs submitted by FCB and its media partner, IPG's Initiative in Los Angeles, the lottery rebid the media portion of the account. IPG's McCann Erickson in Los Angeles was then named the winner, but the decision was rescinded over disclosure.

The lottery is currently without a chief executive officer and director after Anthony Molica, who oversaw only the most recent review, resigned last week after seven months on the job. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will appoint Molica's replacement.