N.Y. State Lottery Reviews Its Ad Business

Longtime incumbent DDB will be invited to defend

Hey, you never know.

Your agency could win creative responsibilities for the New York Lottery, which this month will issue request for proposal for its advertising business, the state gaming commission has confirmed. DDB in New York is the incumbent.

The lottery's media spending approached $50 million last year, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include internet, business-to-business spending or Powerball and Mega Millions, as those games span multiple states and therefore aren't managed by a single state entity.

DDB will be asked to defend, according to the state. The Omnicom Group agency—which has a long history with the account—could not immediately be reached for comment.

DDB handled the business from 1988 until 1998, when Grey in New York took the reins. That shift was short-lived, however, as DDB won the account back in 2001. Government agencies review their ad accounts automatically ever few years and, unlike in the private sector, incumbents often retain the business. 

Meanwhile, a lower stakes game is unfolding on the other side of the George Washington Bridge, as the New Jersey Lottery has launched an agency search of its own, according to sources. The Garden State spent just $5 million in media on lottery ad last year, according to Nielsen.

The incumbent, Brushfire in Cedar Knolls, N.J., declined to comment, referring calls to the state, which had no immediate comment.