Camelot appoints commercial director

National Lottery operator Camelot has appointed Signet marketing director Dianne Thompson as its new commercial operations director.

Thompson replaces Norman Hawkins, whose retirement was announced in August and who has held the post since the Lottery launched in November 1994.

Thompson, who joins in February and will be responsible for Camelot’s relationships with retailers and ticket buyers, says the company’s public image needs to be improved: “Camelot has done a brilliant job – it put so much effort into making the Lottery work rather than promoting itself. Its image needs a bit of help now.” She says there could be a continuation of the Camelot corporate campaign.

Thompson will have responsibility for sales and marketing, with marketing director Jon Kinsey reporting to her. One of her first tasks will be launching the midweek draw, starting on February 5 1997.

Thompson joined jewellery retailer Signet as board-level marketing director two years ago from Woolworths, where she was director of marketing.

In a separate move, Camelot has warned the Government that extending deregulation of the gaming industry could harm National Lottery sales and cause it to miss the target of raising 9bn for the five Good Causes. Its interim results show sales of National Lottery tickets fell by 16 per cent in the six months to mid-September, compared with the same period last year.

This fall was caused by Instants scratchcards sales, which fell to 419m for the first half of this year, from 871m for the same period last year. Sales of online tickets rose slightly. Camelot’s pre-tax profits fell 12 per cent to 20.8m.

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