NEW CONTENDERS IN CALF. LOTTERY REVIEW

One Agency Drops Out While Another Protests to Enter Pitch

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- After recently narrowing the list of contenders in the review for its five-year, $125 million advertising contract to four shops, the California State Lottery now has a new list of competitors.

Initially, the lottery announced that Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Los Angeles, and TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.; Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Los Angeles; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, were the finalists for its ad contract.

Too busy
By the end of this week,

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however, the list shifted. TBWA/Chiat/Day dropped out, and Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Los Angeles, was added to the list of finalists. BBDO lodged a protest but did not make it into the finals, a lottery official said. A spokesman for TBWA/Chiat/Day said the Playa del Rey office was busy absorbing its win of Mars' business and "did not have the resources" to apply to the review.

The lottery earlier this year preliminarily awarded the contract to DDB's Los Angeles office, but after a protest by Grey, the project was rebid.

California contract scandal
The move comes amid news reports that a number of state government watchdog groups have found the state of California awarded some $70.9 million in advertising and public relations contracts without bids. In many of the cases, the contracts were awarded because "emergency" conditions existed.

Among those agencies receiving contracts without bids in the emergency circumstances were Grey, which received the largest no-bid award of any of the contractors cited -- $30 million for the California Department of Consumer Affairs's energy conservation program. The award came at the time of the California energy crisis.

Grey later went on to win the account on a permanent basis.

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