A Tangled, Torturous Process Struggles Forward Again

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Eight advertising agencies today notified the California Lottery Commission that they are still interested in participating in the four-year-long pitch for its four-year, $100 million advertising contract, a Lottery spokeswoman said.

The Lottery last week indicated "nearly all" of the eight shops participating in the review had flaws in the required disclosure information, despite an earlier meeting in Sacramento at which time the topic was discussed in detail. The Lottery gave the contenders, as well as three other shops that initially indicated an interest in bidding, until today to either withdraw, amend, resubmit in full or stick with its disclosure information.

In the running
The eight agencies still in the running are Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Los Angeles, the incumbent; Omnicom Group's BBDO West, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and DDB Worldwide, Los Angeles, with its sibling shops OMD and Alcone; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif., Foote Cone & Belding, San Francisco, and McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles; independents Ground Zero, Los Angeles, and Triple Play, a team consisting of Ruynon, Saltzman & Einhorn, Sacramento, Horizon Media and WongDoody, Los Angeles.

The Lottery declined to indicate which shops provided flawed information. Disclosure requirements have been involved in the Lottery's decision to re-vote two earlier request for proposals.

'Pandora's box'
But its decision to give shops another shot at submitting disclosure information might in the end prove to be a blessing, in that a shop that could have been eliminated at this stage is being given a second shot at remaining in the bidding. As one executive watching the review put it, "the Pandora's box has just opened" for protests.