Advertising Age reported that Energy BBDO in Chicago won the Illinois Lottery account. The story also focused on JWT Chicago’s defeat in the review.
There is no mention of incumbent agency RJ Dale Advertising, a shop whose role was somewhat unprecedented in the history of the advertising industry. RJ Dale Advertising is a Black-owned enterprise—a multicultural shop. When the place won the account by beating competitors including DDB Chicago, there was a bit of controversy. Some argued RJ Dale Advertising received preferential treatment through its relationships with Lottery officials, while others sneered the Lottery was targeting Black consumers. Have accounts never been won because of personal connections or strategic initiatives? Regardless, RJ Dale also experienced a tremendous amount of political scrutiny that turned out to be unjustified and unwarranted. Search the blog for “RJ Dale” if you want more details.
In the end, observers such as Ad Age contemplate the fate of agencies like JWT Chicago. By all means, let’s not wonder about a Black agency that just lost its biggest client.
Here’s the Ad Age story:
Energy BBDO Wins Illinois Lottery Account
Decision Is Another Blow for Chicago’s JWT
By Jeremy Mullman
CHICAGO -- The Illinois Lottery has awarded its creative advertising account to Omnicom Group’s Energy BBDO, Chicago.
Energy BBDO beat out WPP’s JWT, Chicago, and Marc USA in a pitch for the account, which spent $18 million in measured media last year.
Energy BBDO led a pitch for the account that also included Omnicom siblings OMD and Integer Group, which will work on the business as well.
The account is the first win for Energy BBDO since Dan Fietsam joined the agency as CEO last summer from Publicis in the West. The agency’s other clients include Wrigley, Bayer and Jim Beam.
Lottery marketing director Sara Cummins said: “Each agency brought innovative ideas to the table, but we found Energy BBDO to be best suited for the Lottery’s needs. We made the decision based on the team’s enthusiasm, excellent chemistry, strong leadership and ability to reach out to Illinoisans in new and creative ways.”
The decision is a blow to JWT’s Chicago office, which, once the primary agency for the likes of Kraft, Miller and Federated Stores, is now down to only a handful of accounts. The shop will have to defend one of those accounts, the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, in a review expected early this year.
A JWT spokeswoman declined to comment.