Lottery pact stays at local agency Trahan, Burden & Charles keeps lottery ad deal.


Trahan, Burden & Charles Inc. played the Maryland State Lottery and won again.

The Baltimore advertising agency, which has designed the state's lottery campaigns for the past 10 years, has been awarded a new five-year, $41 million contract that begins in June.

Only one other agency, Baltimore's Eisner & Associates, competed for the contract.

"Trahan clearly was the winner in scoring. They did very well in the technical end of it," said lottery spokesman Carroll H. Hynson Jr. "They have extensive evidence of award-winning promotional and marketing campaigns."

Trahan's creative director, Allan Charles, said the agency is proud of the work it has done and happy to have been awarded the contract again. "The lottery account has played a significant role in the personality of this agency," he said.

Between 15 and 20 of Trahan's 85 employees work full-time on the lottery account. The $41 million contract will net the agency about $4 million.

The rest of the budget goes to purchase the ad space and to pay production costs.

There are no plans to change the lottery's successful "It Could be You" theme, Mr. Charles said. "I think it still has some life left in it."

The lottery limited its review to agencies that have been in business at least three years, have at least $10 million in annual billings and are within 50 miles of Baltimore. The proposals were evaluated on technical merit and cost.

Trahan, with annual billings of $60 million, was considered the favorite to win the contract. The belief that Trahan would win the contract again, coupled with the short time allotted to prepare proposals, discouraged some agencies from competing, industry executives said.

Some of Baltimore's largest agencies, such as W. B. Doner and Gray Kirk/VanSant, did not bid. Earle Palmer Brown, based in Bethesda, could not compete because it works on the Virginia Lottery account.

Eisner & Associates, which has billings of $63 million, competed for the account when it was awarded five years ago and tried again this year, hoping lottery officials were ready for a change.

"We're disappointed, but not totally surprised," said Julie Mercer, a spokeswoman for Eisner.

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