N.C. Lottery Selects Howard, Merrell

ATLANTA The North Carolina Lottery has selected Howard, Merrell & Partners to handle its $8 million advertising account but has not yet signed a contract with the shop, the lottery said.

The Interpublic Group shop in Raleigh, N.C., was one of four North Carolina shops to respond to the lottery’s request for proposal. The other three were independent Wray Ward Laseter of Charlotte, N.C., independent Douglas Displays, also in Charlotte, and IPG’s Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C. State law required the lottery to pick a North Carolina shop.

The lottery’s executive director, Thomas Shaheen, recommended HMP to the lottery’s nine-member commission on Feb. 14. The commission has delayed accepting the recommendation until HMP posts a $500,000 payment bond required by the RFP, according to Pam Walker, the lottery spokesperson.

HMP declined to comment beyond confirming that the shop had been selected for the account.

The lottery plans to award a three-year contract worth an estimated $8 million annually for advertising. The North Carolina state legislature approved the lottery last year and predicted it would raise $1.2 billion for educational programs. The law authorizing the lottery limits advertising expenditures to 1 percent of the lottery’s total annual revenue.