$50 Mil. Harrah’s Biz to BBDO, PHD

LOS ANGELES Omnicom Group’s BBDO West and PHD West have won creative and media duties for the Harrah’s Entertainment casino and resort properties following a review, those agencies confirmed today.

The client in recent years has spent about $50 million annually on domestic ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The creative and media planning incumbent was Omnicom’s TracyLocke, Dallas. Independent Horizon Media in Los Angeles keeps the buying portion of the account, which was never in play.

TracyLocke, which declined comment, retains local advertising chores, according to BBDO.

“This is category that we’ve wanted to get into, and to get into it with one of the most recognized brands is fantastic,” said Peter Sherman, managing director of BBDO West in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “And it syncs up well with our core competencies.”

Client officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Other review contenders were not disclosed.

Jim Lesser and Jon Soto, who joined the agency from Publicis & Hal Riney in November, will partner as lead creative directors on the work, Sherman said.

Though the account will be led out of the West offices, Harrah’s also has East Coast properties, and the entire BBDO network would likely contribute to the effort, Sherman said.

Susan Taylor, managing partner, PHD West, added: “We can’t wait to dive into Harrah’s consumer insight and match that with innovative media communications.”

Harrah’s ranks among world’s largest branded casino entertainment companies. The company’s properties operate primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names; Harrah’s also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos and the World Series of Poker.

This story updates and corrects an earlier item to reflect that PHD adds media planning and Horizon retains Harrah’s buying chores.