Lottery-pitching groundhog fired

Feb. 22, 2012 at 6:51 PM
| License Photo

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The Pennsylvania state lottery has fired advertising icon "Gus, the second-most famous groundhog" in the state behind Punxsutawney Phil, authorities say.

That's showbiz -- or in this case, marketing -- as Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci indicated at a legislative hearing Tuesday.

The TV ad campaign that began in 2004 featuring the furry puppet Gus has ended, but you'll still be able to find him on the lottery Web site for the time being, the courierpostonline.com reported Wednesday.

Officials say they hope a new campaign will make more people aware of the lottery, The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News said.

"We're shifting our marketing in a new direction," Rucci said, "of making people more aware of the great things that the lottery does. We are shifting our instant [lottery] product away from Gus into a new campaign which you'll see hopefully here in early March."

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