Lottery commissioners want a preview of ads

Staff WriterFebruary 25, 2006 

State lottery commissioners want a sample of the new television ads that will promote the games before they go on the air.

Commissioners decided Friday to have two members look at sketched outlines of the TV ads before they begin running next month. Commissioners will examine ad campaign themes at a future meeting.

Commissioners decided they wanted some oversight, but not creative control, as lottery Executive Director Tom Shaheen presented them with a timetable for beginning the games. He is scheduled to get a final advertising plan early next week.

The commission hired Wray Ward Laseter of Charlotte to do its advertising and expects to spend $8 million on ads in the first year.

"The advertisements are in many ways the face of the commission," said Commissioner James Woodward.

Television ads emphasizing that the lottery raises money for education will start airing in the early evenings in late March. Radio spots that tout the games and places to play will air during commuting hours. The lottery plans to begin selling instant tickets March 30.

Commissioners said they wanted some insight into the ad campaign, if just to make sure the ads comply with state law.

Shaheen tried to discourage them from any impulse to veto ads. Lottery advertising will evolve over time, he said. If commissioners want previews of all ads, he said, lots of deadlines are going to be missed.

"I'm confident what I'm going to put on the table will be competent and appropriate," he told commissioners.

Staff writer Lynn Bonner can be reached at 829-4821 or lbonner@newsobserver.com.

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