By Janet Plume
BATON ROUGE, LA.--Two Lafayette, La., agencies edged out a handful of Baton Rouge and New Orleans shops, including longtime incumbent Bauerlein Advertising, to advance to the finals of the Louisiana Lottery's $6 million account review.
The Graham Group and Sides and Associates made oral presentations last week in the final round of competition for the state account, which has been held by Bauerlein since its inception in 1990.
For the first time, the Louisiana Lottery Board is splitting its creative and media accounts. Sides was the only finalist chosen for the creative account, virtually assuring it a win before oral presentations began.
Sides and Graham defeated five other bidders to become finalists for the $5 million media portion of the account. Unsuccessful contenders were: Bauerlein and Keating Magee, both of New Orleans; Montgomery Stire of New Orleans in a partnership with Davis Partners of Lafayette; ProMotion Inc. of Irving, Texas; and MAAPS of Baton Rouge.
Winners are scheduled to be announced by the end of the month.
Observers speculated that Bauerlein's chances of keeping the business may have diminished because it was the only full-service shop that chose not to pitch the creative account.
Bauerlein president Robbie Vitrano concluded after he and his staff reviewed their history of creative work with the lottery that the current level of award-winning advertising could not be maintained for the amount which was budgeted.
While losing the lottery will reduce Bauerlein's billings by nearly half, Vitrano does not plan any layoffs among his staff of 22.
'We've been doing some retooling for some time,' Vitrano said. 'We're overtaxed and running lean as usual, but we have some things on the line right now and we're not in a quick knee-jerk reaction mode.'
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