Lottery regulator calls in Hanratty ahead of review

The National Lottery Commission has hired Sarah Hanratty as head of communications as the watchdog braces itself for controversy ahead of the award of a third operating licence.

Hanratty, who joined from her post as press secretary to the leader of the House of Lords, is charged with consolidating the commission’s three-year comms strategy.

She replaces Mark Slattery, who left in April to become head of comms at the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, and leads a team of three, reporting to director of performance and comms Catherine Forrester.

Hanratty has also been asked to raise its profile with key stakeholder groups, government, media and the regulatory community. In addition, she will oversee the regulator’s internal comms programme, which includes staff briefings and the internal staff magazine Commission Impossible.

Hanratty aims to boost comms with responsible gambling organisations. The commission, which selects and regulates the lottery operator, is keen to boost the number of applications for the third licence in 2007.

Controversy surrounded the 2000 competition when only two organisations battled for the charter – with Camelot successfully beating off competition from the Sir Richard Branson-backed People’s Lottery.

Hanratty pointed to a research project started in June aimed at uncovering the level of interest in the next round and identifying potential issues.

She told PRWeek: ‘The challenge is to make sure that the best competition takes place, which means getting as many suitable organisations to enter as possible while getting the best deal for the public.’

Forrester said: ‘Hanratty’s experience will allow us to progress the work already done in building stakeholder relationships and highlighting the importance of good regulation of the lottery.’

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