ONCE seeks London agency for 10m-plus advertising campaign

Leading Spanish lottery ONCE is talking to London agencies about an advertising campaign with a spend which could dwarf the 10m invested by Britain’s National Lottery operator Camelot.

The company is known to have talked to three agencies – among them one with experience of handling lottery accounts.

ONCE is looking for a campaign to run in Spain – it is an offence to promote or advertise a foreign lottery in the UK under the Lotteries & Amusements Act 1976.

Agency sources claim that ONCE is trawling the UK because of its international reputation for creative advertising – British agencies won over 20 major awards at the recent Cannes advertising festival (MW July 3). It has also been studying the successful marketing of Camelot’s lottery and is keen to draw on this experience.

Recently ONCE has been compared favourably with Camelot, partly because all its funds go to the ONCE foundation and charity, and partly because its management earns moderate salaries, in line with other Spanish charities. The boss of Spain’s national lottery earns 30,000 a year, compared with the 590,000 paid to Tim Holley, Camelot’s chief executive, whose pay increased by 53 per cent this year.

ONCE is the second-biggest lottery in Spain after the national lottery – which offers the world’s biggest jackpot, called El Gordo (the Fat One), worth over 150m. ONCE was set up 70 years ago to help disabled people. It employs 60,000 people, including 22,000 vendors of whom the majority are disabled, often blind.

It uses a pool of advertising agencies in Spain, including leading networks BBDO, Bates, McCann-Erickson and BDDP.

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