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Saturday, January 24, 1998 Published at 04:04 GMT


Row over Diana fund scratchcard
image: [ Diana card called
Diana card called "inapproriate"and "tasteless"

Plans to launch a scratchcard to benefit the Diana, Princess of Wales, memorial fund have are being branded inappropriate and tasteless.

Offering a top prize of £25,000, the cards will be produced by pools firm Littlewoods.

It is estimated the project will raise millions of pounds for the charity.

But critics say the idea is tasteless, with one supermarket already refusing to stock the cards.

Littlewoods spokesman Bill Jones says the cards, to go on sale at the end of February, are backed by trustees of the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund.

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But Asda supermarket has told Littlewoods they would be "inappropriate for their stores".

And Tory MP Desmond Swayne has said: "It doesn't strike me as being in the best possible taste. I'm uncomfortable with the idea."

Littlewoods Lotteries denies the scheme is tasteless, saying the cards would be designed in a "respectful and appropriate way".

There will not be a picture of the Princess on the cards. Instead, a pink and white rose, reminiscent of Elton John's description of Diana as "England's Rose" will be pictured.

The memorial fund's official logo, which is due to be unveiled next week, will also be included on the scratchcards.

The fund will receive 25p from each £1 card sold, with 50p going out in prizes.

All of Littlewoods' net profits, after printing, distribution costs, retailers' earnings and VAT have been met, will also go to the fund.

The pools firm will also pay out a further £25,000 to the fund for every top prize of the same amount which is won.

An initial print-run of 10 million cards will be distributed, which should meet demand for about six months.

After that, the fund trustees will decide when and if further cards should be printed.

Mr Jones said Littlewoods hoped the cards would become an annual event, raising several million pounds each year for charities supported by the fund.

He added that a survey carried out by the company showed that 80% of people questioned supported the scratchcard idea, and 50% said that they would buy them, compared to 10% who normally buy scratchcards.

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Internet Links

BBC's Diana Website

Althorp House

The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund

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