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303 makes account bid

IN a bold move, local advertising agency 303 has dumped its $2 million client the TAB to join the chase for the Burswood Resort Casino

business.

Currently shared by Shorters & Partners Advertising and Marketforce, the Burswood Resort Casino account was last put up for tender more than five years ago.

303 resigned the TAB account due to concerns it would represent a conflict of interest if it was successful in its bid for the casino’s advertising account.

This is the second time in 12 months 303 has pitched for an account that represents a business in direct competition with the TAB.

303 managing director Stephen Wells said that, by breaking its ties with the TAB business, 303 removed the possibility of any conflict in the future.

“We’ve worked with the TAB for six years and we’ve done some very good creative work and have enjoyed working with them,” he said.

“This is just a commercial decision that we had to make.

“I think it was the right thing to do, to resign the account prior to the pitch.”

Mr Wells said Burswood Resort Casino had an exciting vision of the future, including the development of a new nightclub, food outlets and a second hotel.

“We’re captured by the scope of Burswood’s vision,” he said.

“In the context of the life of Burswood, this plan is clearly the most significant step forward in 15 years.”

By resigning the TAB ahead of the pitch, 303 appears very confident it can win at least part of the casino’s business.

“You always go into a pitch with confidence. We believe we’ve got as good a chance as anyone,” Mr Wells said.

TAB marketing manager James Wrathall said 303 had resigned the account and given the TAB 90 days’ notice as set out in their contract.

“We’ve enjoyed a very good relationship with 303 and they spoke to us at the time they were tendering for the Lotteries business and we understood the commercial value of the account,” he said.

“I think they felt it was difficult to say it again when they are pitching for the Burs-wood business.”

Mr Wrathall said 303 would continue to work on any projects that were under way, simply because it would be more difficult to involve another agency at such a late stage.

“I would hope another agency will be appointed within the 90 days but I also see no reason, if we had a special project, to appoint another agency,” he said.

In the Campaign Brief Awards earlier this year, the TAB Sportsbet television commercials won best television campaign of the year.

It’s understood Burswood Resort Casino has invited a number of local agencies to pitch for the business, including the Brand Agency, Marketforce and Shorters & Partners Advertising.

Burswood Resort Casino general manager of marketing Laura Lewis said no decision had been made as to whether the account would remain split between two agencies.

“We last put the account up for tender about five years ago so it’s about time and, as you know, we are more than half way through a major redevelopment,” Ms Lewis said.

“We will make an announce-ment by the end of May. We’re not going to sit on our hands with this, there’s a lot of work to do.”

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