Sainsbury's launches scratchcards

Sainsbury's has joined forces with Littlewoods Leisure to launch a Sainsbury's branded scratchcard range. The venture sees it go head to head with Camelot scratchcards in Sainsbury's stores.

The supermarket giant is forming a joint venture with Littlewoods Leisure to sell the scratchcards for £1 each.

One of the scratchcards will be branded Taste the Difference, the name of Sainsbury's premium own-brand range. Prizes will include vouchers for products in the range, providing an effective medium to cross-promote Sainsbury's own brands.

From every scratchcard sold, 20p will be donated to Comic Relief. Sainsbury's hopes to raise £1m for the charity during a six-month trial in more than 150 of its stores. A national roll-out will follow if the trial is a success.

The Comic Relief tie-up will be promoted in-store. It could give Sainsbury's an advantage over Camelot at a time when the Lotto has been beset by controversy over the destination of its Good Cause funding.

Although Camelot does not have responsibility for deciding where National Lottery cash goes, it is attempting to combat public perceptions that money is being distributed to unworthy causes. The operator is considering the introduction of a box on playslips that will allow players to have more say in what causes benefit from their ticket purchases.

Camelot chairman Michael Grade yesterday announced a 5% fall in National Lottery sales for the half year to September 28. Scratchcard sales were up 1.3% to £294m, while Thunderball grew 1.6% in the same period. The total generated for good causes was £612m.

Camelot intends to launch a daily game next year alongside a range of online products. A pan-European lottery game is scheduled for launch in 2004.

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