Commission Chooses to Issue Separate Minority Contract
DALLAS-The Texas Lottery Commission issued a pair of bid packages for its $30-40 million advertising account last week. Officials have decided for the first time to award a a separate contract for minority-targeted marketing.
Ridgely Bennett, deputy general counsel for the lottery, said the reason for having a general market and minority media contract was to open the bidding to a wider field of smaller shops. Previous contracts allowed lead agency GSD&M of Austin, Texas, to handle those duties or hire partners on the account.
Agencies must let lottery officials in Austin know of their intent to pursue the business by May 3, prior to the May 14 proposal submission deadline.
Lottery communications director Marcy Goodfleisch says initial queries have been substantial. They are probably stirred by the incumbent's decision last month not to defend the business. GSD&M's contract expires June 30.
Each of the new contracts, which is payable on a commission basis, will be one year with two renewals. Work includes creative, media, design and collateral.
GSD&M has held the business for six years, producing memorable work such as the "Scratchman" character, who touted the state's scratch-off ticket games.
Recently, GSD&M's work has focused on increasing play for the twice-weekly Texas Lotto drawing, which now has a minimum $4 million jackpot.
Goodfleisch said the fiscal 2000 advertising budget is still being determined by the state legislature. Its 1999 budget (expiring in August) is $40 million.
New agencies are expected to be chosen by June 11 by an evaluation committee, which will pass its recommendation to Lottery executive director Linda Cloud.
Commission members themselves will not be involved in the selection process, unless there are protests over the director's choices.
The winning agencies will have to walk a thin line creatively in their ads. Contract stipulations explain that advertising cannot "unduly influence" people who would not otherwise play or showcase a "change of lifestyle." ƒ