Lottery Firm Wanted Details of Ad Budget Cut from PAC Report

December 17, 2022 | Advertising

IRELAND (December 9, 2022) — Local media outlets report Premier Lotteries Ireland (Irish Lottery) wanted to remove references to how much-unclaimed prize money it spent on marketing from a recent report before it was published, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has heard.

According to ‘Business Plus’ the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) report revealed that of the €124million in unclaimed and forfeited prizes between 2015 and 2021, Premier Lotteries Ireland – operator of the National Lottery – spent 98% (€122m) of it on marketing, while just 2% went to top-up prizes.

Under the terms of the operator’s license, unclaimed prize money must be spent on marketing and additional top-up prizes, but it is at PLI’s discretion how to spend that money.

Yesterday, the CEO of Premier Lotteries Ireland, Andrew Algeo, was before the PAC to be grilled on the distribution of advertising.

According to The Business Plus during the meeting, Mr. Algeo said PLI received a copy of the C&AG report prior to publication and the company tried to get a section relating to marketing removed from it.

The C&AG, Seamus McCarthy, confirmed at the meeting that it was the reference to the 98% to 2% split that PLI wanted to be removed.

Speaking about this revelation, Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy said: “I do not understand how anyone could concede that it is not in the public interest to find out that, actually, only 2% of that money went to that purpose and 98%, in fact, went towards advertising.

Mr. Algeo said that while PLI “broadly welcomed” the C&AG report, it did note that “some information” in it related to the “quantum of marketing spend of PLI” which “we consider to be confidentially sensitive”.

Mr. Algeo added that the licence granted to the company by the State gives it permission to hold information, such as the marketing budget, confidential.

To that end, Mr. Algeo refused, despite repeated questions, to disclose how much PLI spent on marketing outside of the additional money it receives from unclaimed prizes.

SOURCE: Business Plus.

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