Camelot fills top post in marketing reshuffle

Camelot has hired former Somerfield and Kismet marketing chief Phil

Smith as commercial director, with a brief to halt declining ticket

sales and increase the amount of money that goes to good causes.



Smith's appointment to the new position follows Camelot's decision to

restructure its sales and marketing posts after the resignation of sales

and marketing director Ian Milligan.



Under the new structure, Smith, 46, will report to Camelot chief

executive Dianne Thompson and will oversee yet-to-be appointed directors

for sales and marketing , along with player and retailer services

director Chris Green.



Smith's arrival in mid-January coincides with the start of Camelot's

second licence period as operator of the National Lottery.



According to Thompson his brief includes responsibility "for everything

that's outward-looking at the company." However, a key task will be to

help revive flagging sales as a result of waning consumer interest in

the lottery.



Earlier this month, Camelot reported its third consecutive slide in

ticket sales, which fell by 5.4% for the six-month period to September

and sent profits plummeting by 27.3%.



Smith joins the National Lottery operator from online home improvement

business Improveline, where he was deputy managing director. There, he

supervised a brand identity and development project handled by WCRS, the

agency that holds the Camelot account.



Previous jobs include ten years with Kraft, marketing director at

Somerfield Kwik-Save from 1998 to 1999, and online casino Kismet.



Camelot is gearing up for a major marketing effort to break in the

spring, when it will begin relaunching much of its product range. It has

pledged £1bn in investment for the second licensing period.



COMMENT



On the face of it, the appointment of an executive at a relatively

obscure dotcom to one of the UK's most powerful marketing positions is

an odd one.



However, Phil's Smith's sheer range of experience, from vast FMCG and

retail companies to online casino Kismet, could prove the right fit for

a job that demands management of a wide array of brands and navigation

of the arcane rules governing online gaming.



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