California Lottery Allows Multiple Media Alliances

LOS ANGELES The California Lottery today ruled that media agencies participating in the review for its four-year, $100 million general-market advertising account may pitch with more than one creative shop.

The decision was posted on the lottery’s Web site as part of a six-page document aimed at responding to questions that arose at the bidders’ conference on Nov. 21 at lottery headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. The lottery cautioned, however, that “violations of antitrust laws are considered extremely serious breaches of a bidder’s responsibility and may disqualify the bidder from receiving or benefiting from any contract.”

The ruling would allow agencies like Omnicom shops TBWA\Chiat\Day and DDB to both pitch with sister media agency OMD. DDB in Venice, Calif., had submitted an intent to bid with OMD. Fellow Omnicom shop BBDO West in Los Angeles and San Francisco has said it will pitch with PHD, another media services firm in the Omnicom network.

The other agencies that have said they intend to participate in the review are Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., Foote Cone & Belding in San Francisco and McCann-Erickson in Los Angeles; WPP’s Young & Rubicam in San Francisco; Grey Global Group’s Grey in Los Angeles, which is the incumbent; and independents Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Calif., and Triple Play, an entity that combines Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn in Sacramento, Calif., with Horizon Media and WongDoody, both in Los Angeles.

Participating agencies will be given a case study on Dec. 5. Proposals are due on Dec. 15. The lottery is expected to name finalists on Jan. 7, 2004 and, following presentations, select a winner by Feb. 25.

This is the third review the lottery has held for its general-market account in the last two years. DDB in Los Angeles, FCB in San Francisco and McCann in Los Angeles were named the winners in preceding reviews, but those decisions were overturned following protests from competing agencies.