California Lottery Account Back in Review

LOS ANGELES–After naming DDB in Los Angeles as the “apparent successful bidder” early this year, The California State Lottery said today it will put its four-year, $100 million creative and media account back into review.

The decision follows a protest lodged by the incumbent, Grey in Los Angeles, which claimed state officials mishandled the review. [Adweek, January 21].

Lottery director of marketing Jim Hasegawa said the grounds of the protest were denied, but in the process of investigating the review, the state determined that both DDB and Grey did not properly disclose information about their media partners.

“The lottery is obligated to know who we are doing business with, and disclosure has to be done at the time of bidding,” Hasegawa said. “DDB did not disclose the fact that their media buying partner was OMD. Grey also failed to provide disclosure for their subcontractor, MediaCom. Since we had the top two agencies with this issue, we felt it was in the interest of the public to get the best value and go out with an RFP again.”

The original RFP required that agencies not only name their media buying partner, but that they also disclose stockholder information, as well as the names and addresses of officers.

Grey president and COO John Crosson said the agency will once again participate in the review. “We are thrilled we will continue to have the opportunity to work with this client,” said Crosson. “We’ve enjoyed great success and we hope we would have even greater success in the future.”

DDB officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Lottery expects to release a new RFP within a month, Hasegawa said. Details of the timeline were not available. Grey will continue to work with the Lottery in the interim, since its existing contract does not expire until the end of June, Hasegawa said.