The New York State Lottery met with eight shops late last week in what sources described as a Q&A meeting on the estimated $60 million ad account.
Some 20 RFPs were issued in December [Adweek, Dec. 18] and returned in January before a cut was made in mid-February, sources said.
The Schenectady, N.Y.-based cli ent briefed New York-based shops during a group meeting at its Manhattan office on Friday, sources said.
In addition to incumbent Grey, which is defending, other contenders were said to include J. Walter Thompson, DDB, Wolf Group, McCann-Erickson, Bates and two undetermined others, sources said.
Sources said strategic and creative ideas are to be sent to the client by April 16, followed by a cut to finalists who will make presentations on April 30, sources said.
"That's how these people tend to work," said one source about the client, noting it's rare to have cotenders submit presentations by mail.
A decision is expected by June 1.
DDB here is eager to win back the business after losing it to Grey in 1998. Following that decision, the client said, "Grey had a better price than DDB did" [Adweek, Aug. 3, 1998].
DDB's award-winning campaign, "Hey, you never know," showed humorous vignettes of how winning the windfall could change your life. In one spot, a tollbooth operator generously pays the way for travelers. In another series, a man interrupts important events to announce the latest jackpot amounts over a bullhorn.
Grey unveiled its first campaign in 1999, introducing the tagline, "Will you be ready if it happens to you?," which focused on consumers' relatively modest material aspirations such as a vacation abroad or indulging in a hobby.
Richard Mahan, who steered creative on the lottery account at Grey, left the shop in November. Grey ecd Rob Baiocco took over for him.
Grey's contract with the NYS Lottery expires Oct. 1.