OLC reviews policy

The Ontario Lottery Corporation will decide the fate of its agency resource pool before the March 31 end of the current ad contracts for its $23-million annual budget. The olc marketing department expects to complete an internal review by early next...

The Ontario Lottery Corporation will decide the fate of its agency resource pool before the March 31 end of the current ad contracts for its $23-million annual budget.

The olc marketing department expects to complete an internal review by early next month.

At that point, it will decide whether to continue with the pool system, assign its present agencies to product categories, or initiate a wholesale ad agency review through the Advertising Review Board.

The pioneer of the pool system, Philip Rowlatt-Smith, resigned from his post of vice-president of marketing effective Jan. 1.

Rowlatt-Smith had been five years with the provincial Crown corporation, which has its headquarters in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Tom Dowley, director of Online Games, has stepped in as interim marketing head while the olc looks for a full-time replacement.

Under the guidance of Rowlatt-Smith in March 1992, the olc named five firms to a creative resource pool: Anderson Advertising, Ian Roberts Advertising, Padulo Integrated and Vickers & Benson of Toronto, and Brooks Marketing Resources of Sault Ste. Marie.

Cut costs

The purpose of the pool was to allow the olc to cut advertising costs by controlling the creative strategy.

It developed the marketing plans and decided on the creative requirements before briefing the agencies and then letting them duke it out, project by project, for the work.

At the end of 1992, Rowlatt-Smith said the pool system had saved the olc $875,000. The average cost to produce a tv spot was $33,000.

If an agency produced an ad for less than the allotted budget, the olc would give it half the savings.

The olc plan set off rumblings within the ad industry.

Some called it demeaning and stifling, while others feared more clients would try to emulate the system as a cost-saving measure.

Today, there are only three agencies left in the pool: Padulo Integrated, Promanad Communications and Brooks Marketing Resources.

Less pitching

The olc says with fewer agencies there has been less pitching going on, and each agency has been aligned with a group of the lottery corporation’s eight categories of games.

The original five-agency pool lost its first member November 1992 with the resignation of Vickers & Benson Advertising.

Publicly, the agency said the reason it pulled out of the pool was because it was not allowed to be involved in the development of creative strategy, and, therefore, could not do its best work.

In the same month, Anderson Advertising was bought by DDB Needham Worldwide, thus losing its Canadian-owned status.

At that time, Promanad Communications, a runner-up when the pool was originally formed, was added to the list.

Last month, Ian Roberts Ross Roy declared bankruptcy.

The olc made a profit of $562 million in fiscal year 1993-94, and expects to duplicate that in 1994-95.