Lottery vs. local ad firms

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The Hoosier Lottery has rejected all bids for the creative part of its advertising account. Most of the bidders were local, and the agencies involved are miffed that they were passed over.

In this weekend’s IBJ, reporter Anthony Schoettle quotes lottery spokesman Andrew Reed as saying the recent addition of several marketing-savvy employees played into the decision.

In her Dear John letter to the companies, Executive Director Kathryn Densborn said none of the bidders could offer “all the capabilities the Hoosier Lottery was seeking in connection with its overall marketing program and strategy.”

Local ad execs are stunned. The execs say the rejection by one of the state’s largest accounts could send a negative signal about the local ad industry.

Is the lottery underestimating the capabilities of the local ad community or wisely saving taxpayer dollars? What’s your take?

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