Reviews Put $30 Mil. in State Cash Up in Air
By Trevor Jensen
CHICAGO--The Illinois Bureau of Tourism is getting proposal requests ready for its $12 million account, which has been at Foote, Cone & Belding for close to five years, a bureau representative confirmed last week.
It's the second state advertising account to go out to bid in recent weeks, following the Illinois Lottery's decision to review earlier this summer. The lottery account, valued at $18 million, was also at FCB's Chicago office, which declined to participate in the competition.
Finalists for the lottery business are Chicago agencies BBDO, DDB, J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, according to a representative at the client. Seventeen agencies responded to the lottery's call for proposals, but many of those did not fit the credentials requirements.
Like the lottery, the state tourism account is considered somewhat political, with sources saying both reviews were sparked by the new administration that entered the governor's mansion last fall.
Toby McCarrick, advertising manager for the Bureau of Tourism, will manage the review. The new director of the bureau is Cathy Ritter, who replaced Donna Shaw.
FCB won the account by default in 1994, when nearly a dozen other Chicago shops dropped out of the review amid questions that it wasn't a profitable business--charges the client at the time denied.
The agency's work carried the tagline, "Illinois: A million miles from Monday."
FCB inherited the lottery business when it bought Bayer Bess Vanderwarker in 1996.