Minnesota’s $9 Mil. Lottery To Court Shops

CHICAGO-Although it recently renewed its contract with Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch for another year, the Minnesota Lottery intends to put its $9 million account into review again next month.
“It’s good to expose these things to competition,” said George Andersen, director of the Roseville, Minn.-based lottery. The account was last up for a full review in 1994, when then-incumbent Carmichael was the only bidder.
Winning the 1994 contract guaranteed Carmichael three more years of lottery work, with the option of two additional yearly renewals. In December 1997, the contract was renewed for another year, with the understanding that the account would likely be reviewed in 1998.
The extension contains provisions for a 90-day minimum transition period so the agency can “reap the benefits of [media] placements” in the event the account changes hands, Andersen said.
Carmichael has held the account since 1989, and has been the lottery’s only advertising agency of record. Agency representatives said it will wait for the formal request for proposals to be sent next month before deciding whether or not to defend the account.
The agency’s recent acquisition by The Interpublic Group of Cos. was not a factor in putting the account into review, Andersen said.
The lottery will mail requests for proposals in late March, with finalists to be determined in May, Andersen said. While there will likely be a minimum billing requirement, the review will not be limited to Minnesota agencies.
“If someone wants to pitch from out of state, that’s fine,” Andersen said. It would be helpful for an outside agency to have an office in Minnesota or be located nearby, he said.
A bill pending in the Minnesota legislature would increase the lottery’s ad budget by $3.5 million to $12.5 million.