Maryland Lottery Account Returns to TBC

DALLAS TBC has won interim advertising duties for the Maryland State Lottery following a review held after the incumbent, Eisner Communications, abruptly folded last month.

TBC, an independent shop in Baltimore that has handled the account in the past, picks up the remaining six months on Eisner’s contract, with a pair of one-month renewal options, the agency said. Eisner had been a fixture on the Baltimore ad scene for 67 years [Adweek Online, Nov. 13].

TBC’s interim deal calls for media planning and buying, creative development and public relations. In early 2007, the lottery will issue a longer-term proposal request that calls for a five-year contract. The lottery spends $15 million annually in measured media.

Agency president Tom Hollerbach said TBC’s first new work for the lottery, a TV spot supporting the “Countdown to Millions” game, would break next week.

TBC handled the business from 1982-97. Sales during those 15 years increased by more than 130 percent, making Maryland the third-highest ranking state in per capita ticket sales, the shop said.

Allan Charles, chairman and chief creative officer at TBC, said about 30 staffers had to adjust their holiday plans to quickly produce work for the client. “This is as quick as I’ve ever done new work for a client,” he said. TBC’s Jodi Marsico was named account director.

Hollerbach, who joined TBC in early 2006, previously led marketing efforts for the California State Lottery as president and CEO of the West Coast office of Omnicom Group’s BBDO.

The fact that Hollerbach already had lottery experience when he joined TBC “was just serendipity,” Charles said. “We had no idea we were going to be pitching this account.”

“TBC offered a comprehensive and creative strategy, coupled with the most fiscally responsible plan for the state of Maryland,” said lottery director Buddy Roogow.

Eisner was six months from the end of its contract with the lottery when the independent agency shut its doors due to a lack of cash after the loss of work from U.S. Airways. Employees did not receive their final paychecks. Eisner won the five-year lottery contract in 1997 and successfully defended it in 2002.

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