CALIF. LOTTERY ISSUES 'PRE-RFP' FOR AD ACCOUNT

Agency Proceeding Cautiously Toward Next Round of Agency Search

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Stung by a string of controversial mishaps in its attempt to award its advertising contract, the California Lottery is making a "pre-RFP" available to the ad industry for comment before it begins its latest agency search.

The Lottery Commission today posted a

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108-page request for proposal, or RFP, on its Web site with a letter urging all interested advertising agencies to review the RFP and forward their comments. The tentative date for issuing the final version of the RFP is Nov. 7.

Web site
The letter and draft RFP can be found in the "Vendor Opportunities" section of the lottery's Web site at http://www.calottery.com/contract_opps.asp.

In the letter, from Shannon Gordon, manager of contract services for the commission, the lottery noted that it previously asked agencies to provide input on the on the RFP process, and that an "independent advisory committee" provided viewpoints. "While not all comments will result in a change to the final RFP, I assure you that all comments will be considered, and changes will be made as appropriate," Ms. Gordon said.

The proposed RFP is for a four-year contract with an optional two-year extension. Lottery spokeswoman Norma Minas said the value of the contract is estimated at $25 million a year.

Type of partner sought
The letter said the lottery is seeking a partner with "strong strategic thinking towards our business; innovative creative that is on strategy and inventive media planning and media buying that can stretch budgets."

The commission gave the following timeline for the review: Final RFPs will be issued Nov. 7; a bidders conference, required to be attended by all aspirants, is Nov. 12; notification of intent to bid on the contract due Nov. 17; proposals due Nov. 25; and finalists will be identified Dec. 16. Afterward, final presentations will be held Jan. 19-23, with identification of apparent successful bidder Jan. 30. The lottery commission will approve the apparent winner approval in February of March, and contract effectively begins March or April 2004.

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