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D.C. Lottery Decides

ATLANTA-One of the most protracted agency reviews in the Southeast ended last week as the D.C. Lottery chose Abramson-EhrlichManes in Washington, D.C., to handle its $4 million ad account.
The decision came nearly a year after client officials heard presentations from three finalists, and two years after its last agency contract ended. Competing against AEM last May were incumbent MDB Communications and Goldberg. Marche-sano.Partners, both in Washington.
Newly appointed D.C. Lottery executive director Tony Cooper said AEM will “hit the ground running” with a campaign for a new game launching March 30. “They’ve got six weeks to get it together,” Cooper said.
The client, on the other hand, took about two years to get it together. After MDB’s contract ended in 1995, the lottery suffered a series of directorship changes-seven in all-that stalled the agency review.
“If we had chosen an agency during that turmoil, there’s no way we could’ve developed a consistent [marketing] message,” said Cooper, who, ironically, held his current post two years ago.
The D.C. Lottery is facing fierce competition from nearby lotteries in Maryland and Virginia, handled by Eisner & Associates in Baltimore and The Arnold Agency in Richmond, Va., respectively.
While those lotteries use humor, AEM took a different ad approach. The shop’s spec creative work depicts blues performer Chic Street Man as a “pied piper” who beckons consumers to “Come out and play.”
“Our strategic expertise won the account,” said AEM president Tim Labus. “Now we’ll focus that expertise on regaining market share.”