DDB Needham loses best bet status in N.Y. Lottery review

DDB Needham’s efforts to retain the $25-$30-million New York State Lottery business, in the midst of a mandatory review, aren’t going as smoothly as expected, given that so many agencies have pulled out of the pitch because they consider the shop’s hold on the account virtually unassailable.
Last week, Dennis Brynes, the senior vp on the lottery business and a veteran DDB executive, abruptly quit mid-pitch.
“His departure is very ill-timed,” said DDB Needham/N.Y. president Andy Berlin. He would not elaborate and Brynes could not be reached for comment.
Earlier, David Angelo, an art director and a lead creative on the account, defected to Chidt/Day from DDB Needham.
Sources said DDB’s challenge now is to ensure the lottery commission that the DDB lottery team is stable. Berlin moved quickly to secure the account, placing Mary Lou Quinlan, executive vp/director of development, in charge.
DDB Needham was considered to be a shoo-in to keep the lottery business, and five ad agencies even pulled out of the review in part because of DDB’s strong creative. But now, other agencies might sense vulnerability.
Besides DDB Needham, the agencies still left in the review include D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Bozell, Grey Advertising and Ayer, all New York.
A spokesperson for the lottery last week said, “We are not just going through the motions. It’s possible somebody else out there does better work.”
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