March 18, 2013

Maine Lottery drops 'Kwikies' marketing scheme

By Kelley Bouchard
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The Maine State Lottery has abandoned plans to market various instant scratch tickets as "Kwikies" in response to concerns that the name was sexually suggestive.

Lottery officials had developed the marketing plan over the last few months, said David Heidrich, spokesman for Maine's Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

The initial response to the name among retailers and consumers was positive, Heidrich said.

But when lottery officials sent fliers to 1,300 retailers, negative concerns cropped up because the name, although spelled differently, is slang for brief sexual encounters.

"Some thought the name was sexual in nature," Heidrich said. "That was absolutely not the intent, to be provocative in any way."

While the name hadn't been implemented officially, "its assessment could have been handled better and faster,” Gerry Reid, bureau director, said in a news release.

“On behalf of the lottery, I regret any inconvenience or confusion this may have created,” Reid said.

Lottery officials are considering other names for the marketing scheme, Heidrich said.

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