Incumbent Won’t Play for Lottery

GSD&M Decides Not to Defend Texas Games Account of $40 Mil.
DALLAS–GSD&M of Austin, Texas, will give up the reins on its $30 million Texas Lottery account as the business moves into a mandatory review later this month.
GSD&M officials confirmed last week the shop, which held the account since the lottery’s inception in 1992, will not defend the business even though the state agency’s spending cap will rise to $40 million in 1999.
“We’ve had a six-year run with the lottery . . . and we helped generate of a lot of money for the state of Texas,” said GSD&M representative Eric Webber. “But we just feel it’s time to move on.”
When GSD&M’s contract expires in June, it will mark the third state account lost or resigned by the shop in over a year. In January 1998, GSD&M resigned the anti-litter campaign of the Texas Department of Transportation (now with Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia in Austin), and was ousted by Houston’s McCann-Erickson Southwest last fall as tourism agency for the state’s economic development division.
Lottery communications director Marcy Goodfleisch, who confirmed the request for proposal, said account details will be issued toward the end of March. “We will be glad to look at anything that comes through the door,” she said.
Specific reasons for GSD&M’s lottery decision were not disclosed. Webber, however, denied the choice was made based on the $750 million shop’s increased account load or the loss of the other state business.
Webber also dismissed questions about whether the increased Republican influence in Texas politics–and hence state-appointed boards like the three-member Texas Lottery Commission–held sway with GSD&M president Roy Spence, a longtime Democrat Party supporter. “I know those questions will come up, but there aren’t any political implications,” said Webber, “and that’s unfair to the people at the lottery.”
Webber said GSD&M would pursue state business when available.
GSD&M’s 1998 advertising for the lottery sought to counteract waning interest in the games, especially for the twice-weekly Lotto drawing that only attracts serious interest whenever the jackpot exceeds the
$4 million minimum.