Tote hunts agency for Lottery rival

The Tote, the Government-owned pool betting organisation, is to search for an agency to launch its new Superbet product, which will be a rival to the National Lottery.

The review will begin in the new year, and has been ordered by new chairman Peter Jones, the former chief executive of advertising giant Omnicom’s division Diversified Agency Services. He joined after chairman Woodrow Wyatt retired in April.

Jones remains a consultant to Omnicom, which may preclude Omnicom-owned agencies from pitching.

He has ordered a review of all areas of the Tote business, including advertising and marketing.

Marketing director Peter Dow says: “There is a reappraisal of all areas, and we will look at various types of agency, including sales promotion.”

The main task of the ads will be to promote the Tote Superbet, which is scheduled for launch next year. It will offer huge prizes for a 1 weekly bet on the outcome of a race or series of races.

The ads may also promote the Tote’s credit betting, which is increasing by about a third each year, and now stands at some 90m, out of the Tote’s total annual turnover of 400m.

Agency Clark & Taylor ran some test advertising on credit betting over the summer which Dow describes as successful.

The Tote also faces possible privatisation by the Government.

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