Casino Giant Harrah's Splits With TracyLocke

Longtime Relationship Ends Over Compensation

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Gaming giant Harrah's Entertainment and its longtime ad agency, Omnicom Group's TracyLocke, are parting ways after the marketer and shop failed to resolve differences relating to compensation, TracyLocke said.
Agency TracyLocke and the casino hotel chain's relationship spanned nearly a decade.
Agency TracyLocke and the casino hotel chain's relationship spanned nearly a decade. Credit: AP

A spokeswoman for the Las Vegas-based marketer said she could not immediately comment on the split, which TracyLocke billed as a mutual parting of ways.

"After many months of discussions, Harrah's and TracyLocke could not reach alignment on a scope of work that corresponded to the level of agency compensation," a spokeswoman for the Dallas agency said in an e-mail. "While we're obviously disappointed in this development, we wish Harrah's well and will work closely together over a minimum of 90 days to transition this business to whatever resources Harrah's directs."

Nearly a decade
TracyLocke and the casino hotel chain's relationship spanned nearly a decade, with the agency handling a range of duties primarily for the Harrah's brand, including local advertising, retail activation and media planning.

According to TNS Media Intelligence data, Harrah's Entertainment spent a total of $128.8 million on U.S. measured media to market its various hotel and casino brands, which also includes Caesars -- which handed global agency-of-record duties to Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett last fall -- Horseshoe and Bally's, in locales such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as in the U.K. It spent nearly $70 million to market the Harrah's brand alone, according to TNS.

Whether Harrah's -- which earlier this year was acquired by affiliates of private-equity firms TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management -- has already identified a new agency partner or plans to conduct a search for a shop to handle the business leaving TracyLocke was not immediately clear.
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