A quartet of finalists have emerged for the advertising business of Mohegan Sun Casino.
Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn., which has held the account for about five years, is still alive in the competition, along with Deutsch, pitching through its offices in Boston and New York, and New York shops Merkley Newman Harty and Cliff Freeman and Partners. Out of the contest are Holland Mark of Boston and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, New York.
A decision is expected next month. Pile and Co., the Boston consulting firm, is overseeing the review for the Uncasville, Conn., client.
Mohegan Sun has spent $7 million on ads in each of the past two years, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The budget is, however, expected to increase substantially once an agency is selected, sources said.
The client is in competition with Atlantic City, N.J., casinos and the Foxwoods Resort Casino in nearby Mashantucket, Conn. Foxwoods spends about $12 million annually on ads; Trahan Burden & Charles, Baltimore, handles that account.
Mohegan Sun officials have said the decision to launch a review does not reflect displeasure with Mintz & Hoke's ad strategy or account service. "It's prudent business every four or five years to review your options and see what's out there in the marketplace," said Michael Bloom, senior vice president of marketing for Mohegan Sun. Sources have said the client is looking to ratchet up the quality of its broadcast creative.
Mohegan Sun has been a creative showcase for Mintz & Hoke, and agency president Chris Knopf has made retaining the business a top priority.
As the year began, the agency launched a TV campaign for Mohegan Sun featuring Colin Mochrie of the ABC's Whose Line Is It Anyway? A series of 30-second commercials will air through June in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut markets.