Tote starts trawl for marketing director

The Tote, the Government-owned pool betting organisation, is looking for a marketing director after the current director, Ric Cowan, resigned.

Cowan leaves this Friday to rejoin Oakfield Consultancy Partnership, which he helped set up before moving to the Tote in January 2000. Cowan has spent most of his career in marketing. He was marketing director of Greenalls Inns until he was made redundant in early 1997 (MW March 21, 1997). Before that he was marketing director at Scottish & Newcastle.

The Government had already announced plans to privatise the Tote when Cowan joined in 2000. But it appears that the Tote will stay in government hands. Cowan says: “I’ve done everything I wanted to do, bar working on the privatisation, which is out of our control. It’s time to move on.”

The Tote’s advertising spend is about &£3m. It uses through-the-line agency AMV Advance, and PHD for media buying.

The Tote is officially under the jurisdiction of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and is best known for offering pool betting on all 59 of the UK’s racecourses. In pool betting, gamblers compete against each other for a share of a single pot, funded from their combined stakes. In normal betting, gamblers compete against bookmakers.

The Tote operates 400 high street bookmakers. Last year its turnover was about &£643m.

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