Ian Monk: Place your bets on lottery PR clash

Is anyone taking bets on the outcome of the current PR spat between the National Lottery and Richard Desmond's Health Lottery?

Ian Monk: Place your bets on lottery PR clash
Ian Monk: Place your bets on lottery PR clash

Camelot, provider of the National Lottery, is claiming the moral high ground in seeking to protect its monopoly numbers game by invoking national interest due to the amounts raised for good causes.

Camelot's PR centres on claims that the Health Lottery breaches its monopoly as the UK's only national lottery. Encouraged, one suspects, by successful lobbying, the Government refers the Health Lottery to the Gambling Commission, citing concerns that charities and good causes will miss out.

In its counter-offensive, the Health Lottery sets out its stall as an amalgam of 51 separate lotteries representing each region of Britain. Thus it claims not to be a 'national lottery'. The Health Lottery also argues that it has grown the lottery market, thus enabling a greater weekly amount to go to good causes than before.

Thus it uses the 'everyone's a winner' argument to confront criticism that the Health Lottery gives only 20.3 pence in every pound to charity compared with Camelot's 28 pence.

Expect more headlines from the upstart Health Lottery. Why, it might argue, should the state endorse any sort of a monopoly that has its roots in something which many citizens find as pernicious as gambling?

And how can the National Lottery justify giving such obscenely large sums of money, tax free, to individual winners in an age when 'we're all in it together'? Perhaps the Health Lottery's £100,000 top prize coupled with a proper reward of £50 to punters who successfully pick three numbers carries a stronger PR message in austere times.

The National Lottery gives winners who pick three correct numbers from their six selections out of 49 numbers a £10 prize for their £1 stake, odds of 9-1. Mathematical odds against such a selection are 57-1.

As a betting man, I'd take far shorter odds on the survival and prosperity of the Health Lottery.

Ian Monk is founder of Ian Monk Associates and a former executive at the Daily Mail and The Sun.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.