Lottery rival Chariot nets Handley for launch drive

Chariot UK, the soon-to-launch rival to the National Lottery, has brought in Stuart Handley as its first director of communications.

The appointment comes in advance of the launch of the game, which will allow players to choose which charity will benefit from ticket purchases. It promises to donate a larger share of its sales to charity partners than the percentage paid by Camelot to good causes.

Handley started at Chariot, chaired by former Camelot CEO Tim Holley, this week having left as MD of corporate comms at Hill & Knowlton. His challenge is two-fold: to help manage the consumer launch and to keep shareholders and City analysts informed.

He said the launch was 'imminent', but declined to name a date. The game – whose name and branding are under wraps – will mainly operate online. Chariot, which has more than 60 charity partners, floated on the AIM in February, raising just under £10m. It uses Bell Pottinger for City and consumer PR (PRWeek, 27 January).

Handley becomes Chariot's sole in-house comms professional. Its marketing director is Andrew Williams, a former marketer at audio firm NXT and Prudential.

On his move, Handley said: 'I was very happy at H&K but this was an opportunity that doesn't come along too often – to be involved in a national launch of this scale, and to be involved in a venture that will have a profound effect on charities' funding.'

At H&K he reported to corporate comms practice head Stuart Wilson. He was one of a five-strong team at the helm of H&K London's 45-strong corporate comms division. Clients included Saudi petrochemicals firm Sabic and Pakistani investment house AKD.

H&K said it had no plans to replace Handley directly, but revealed it was recruiting for several junior positions in Wilson's team.

Handley was formerly joint managing director of August.One Communications, and prior to that worked at Text 100. He was at H&K for little over a year.

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