Four Agencies Hope To Punch Ticket on Scholarship Lottery

Four Agencies Hope To Punch Ticket on Scholarship Lottery
Which advertising firm will promote the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery next? (Michael Pirnique)

Three Little Rock bidders and a Boston digital marketing agency are in the running for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s advertising and marketing work, worth $5 million a year and rising.

Mangan Holcomb Partners, which has been handling the lottery work for the past 18 months, is back in the hunt, along with two other Little Rock outfits: CJRW and a partnership of Natalie Ghidotti of Ghidotti Communications and Brooke Vines of Vines Media LLC, listed simply as Ghidotti-Vines on the state’s “RFQ Bid Tab.” (RFQ is shorthand for request for qualifications, standard jargon in the bidding process.)

The Boston firm is called Fuseideas.

“The full package is advertising, PR and digital,” one advertising insider said Thursday, calling CJRW’s quest for the contract a bit of a surprise.

Advertising and marketing goals were part of a plan presented this year by a global consultant hired by the lottery, Camelot Global Services of London. The consultants laid out a five-year proposal in March that would raise the lottery’s marketing budget from $5 million to $6 million in 2017, followed by “target” budgets of $6.5 million in fiscal 2018, $7 million in fiscal 2019 and $7.5 million by 2020.

But Jake Bleed, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration, which assumed authority for the lottery last year, said “the RFQ is not a result of Camelot’s recommendations.”

He said Camelot’s business plan addresses some marketing and advertising concerns, but that the lottery “has always invested in marketing and advertising as part of its commitment to ensuring a strong and growing pool of support for college scholarships.”

The Office of State Procurement opened the RFQ submissions on Thursday.

In evaluating the bids, the state may request to hear presentations from up to three finalists, and a decision is anticipated by the end of the year, a Little Rock advertising executive said.