H&K lands brief from Lottery Commission

The National Lottery Commission (NLC) has handed Hill & Knowlton a four-year brief to encourage bids for a new licence and to position the process as fair.

The licence has been operated by Camelot since it launched in 1994, but the current licence expires in 2009.

NLC head of communications Sarah Hanratty said Camelot's 11-year reign was perceived as a barrier by potential bidders.

'There is a mindset among businesses that there is no point applying because the same operator has had the licence for so long.'

The first competition for the licence involved seven bidders, but in 2002 Camelot went head-to-head with Sir Richard Branson's People's Lottery.

'We have published two consultation papers. The big challenge now is converting these into bids and to communicate that we have created a level playing field,' Hanratty said.

The campaign will target potential consortiums and encourage them to apply. H&K's brief also involves media relations, public affairs, corporate reputation management and strategic advice. The agency scooped the £100,000-a-year account, which will be managed by H&K senior associate director Sara Price, after a three-way pitch.

The successful bidder for the 2009 licence will be selected between May and September 2007. News analysis, p16

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