Camelot’s consumer account up for grabs

National Lottery operator Camelot has put its entire consumer PR contract up for pitch.

A Camelot spokesman said it was conducting a ‘root and branch’ review of its national and regional consumer PR – an account that includes game launches and promoting press events for winners.

The pitch could spell the end of Camelot’s nine-year relationship with incumbent Harrison Cowley, which has handled regional PR for the lottery since its launch in 1994.

In addition to Harrison Cowley, Camelot has used other consumer PR agencies for national coverage, including MacLaurin and Revolver Communications.

Camelot aims to complete the tender process by mid-November. It said it has yet to decide whether to hire more than one agency.

Agency fees for Camelot’s consumer PR have varied annually, but it is understood fees for the contract up for pitch will be around £300,000.

This is less than the £500,000 average annual fees it is understood to have spent on consumer PR agencies during its nine-year existence.

Camelot, which last month launched its Daily Play game, has diversified its games portfolio in a bid to turn around a decline in ticket sales, which fell by 5.4 per cent last year. Sales for the main, twice- weekly Lotto draw fell by 12 per cent in the same period.

Average weekly sales across the games portfolio have stabilised over the past nine months at £85m, and Camelot expects to report overall sales growth during 2004-2005.

Harrison Cowley has been invited to repitch for the contract.Agency chairman David Heal said: ‘We quite understand why, after such a long time with us, they want to investigate the market.’

Camelot head of winners publicity Jacquie Wilson is co-ordinating the pitch.

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