The Texas Lottery Commission last week pronounced Fogarty Klein & Partners of Houston the "apparent" winner of its $30-40 million advertising account.
"I'm doing good today," said agency principal Bill Fogarty, contacted by Adweek shortly after the announcement.
The agency topped McCann-Erickson Southwest, Houston; Ogilvy & Mather, Dallas; and Regian & Wilson, Fort Worth, in the final round of the review.
GSD&M in Austin, Texas, which produced memorable work like the "Scratchman" character in the six years it held the lottery business, did not participate in the review.
The lottery and Fogarty must still complete contract negotiations. Normally the contract is for one year with two renewals, payable on a commission basis. Work includes creative, media, design and collateral.
"This is going to have a positive impact on the agency," Fogarty said. "We are all really excited about it."
According to Fogarty, minority-targeted advertising will be included in the account. The agency plans to subcontract that work through Hispanic-, African American- and Asian American-owned shops already working with the Fogarty team.
A few weeks ago the lottery cancelled a separate minority review without explanation, leaving some 21 contenders in the lurch. These mostly smaller agencies were irked by the time and money spent on proposals as well as costly, state-required items such as bonding and insurance.
The purpose of the first-ever minority review was to open the bidding to a wider range of small shops. Lottery officials could not be reached to comment on the cancellation.
The win continues a string of gains for the agency, which most recently landed several high-profile brand accounts from International Home Foods, as well as two divisions of Black & Decker. "We've had our share of good fortune over the last two years," Fogarty said.
New creative work is expected to break in September.