McCann Wins $125m California Lottery

13 March 2003

The drawn-out review of the California Lottery account looks to have been settled in favour of McCann-Erickson in Los Angeles.

Of the four agencies in the bitterly contested pitch, McCann was considered least likely to win – a factor that may have worked in its favour given the feuding between its more fancied rivals.

DDB Worldwide in LA won the account – worth $125 million (€113.4m; £77.5m) over five years – early last year, then promptly lost it after ousted incumbent Grey Worldwide complained that its successor had not adequately disclosed its media arrangements [WAMN: 06-Mar-02].

Cue another review. This time Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide in San Francisco seemed to have won the business, until DDB contested FCB’s media costs and threatened legal action.

The Lottery then asked for another rebid involving media costs and mark-ups only – at which point DDB and Grey pulled out saying they could not beat FCB.

That left the favourite FCB and McCann – and a newly posted message on the client’s website reveals the latter has been chosen. The decision will be voted on by the Lottery commission next month, with the contract scheduled to begin May 1 – assuming there are no further challenges.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff