DDB Files California Lottery Protest

LOS ANGELES — DDB has filed a formal protest with the California Lottery over the state’s decision to award a five-year, $125 million advertising account to Foote, Cone & Belding, a lottery representative confirmed.

The grounds for the protest are confidential, said lottery contract administrator Rose Marie Laplante-Olvera. However, when DDB in Los Angeles filed its intent to protest last week, sources attributed it to a dispute over information provided by FCB San Francisco about its media cost per rating point [Adweek, Aug. 12].

“We’re aware of the process. It’s in the hands of the lottery and we await their decision,” said Ian Beavis, president of FCB San Francisco and Seattle.

DDB officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Lottery officials have three weeks to respond to the protest, said Laplante-Olvera.

FCB was named the winning bidder of the account on July 31, pending approval from the lottery commission on Aug.16. The shop pitched with Interpublic Group sibling Initiative Media North America, Los Angeles. The commission will move ahead with the meeting, said Laplante-Olvera.

In addition to FCB and DDB, the finalists for the account included the incumbent, Grey, and McCann-Erickson, both in Los Angeles.

This is the second time in recent months that an agency has protested the lottery’s decision. DDB was named the winning bidder in a review that concluded in January, but following a protest by Grey, state officials put the account back into review.