TSB and British Gas are trawling advertising agencies as they prepare to
launch a jointly funded affinity card, backed by a multi-million pound
TSB, which was acquired by Lloyds Bank at the end of last year, has
approached a number of mainstream agencies last week, including Lowe
Howard-Spink, Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury, Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow
and Johnson, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and DMB&B.
Sources said the adspend behind the credit card launch could reach
pounds 10 million.
British Gas is understood to be keen to cement customer loyalty as the
gas market fragments as more competitors are entering the fray. Like
most affinity cards, the TSB/British Gas card will be dual-purpose,
allowing customers to pay their bills as well as making general
purchases. Card holders are expected to get a discount on their bills.
Shortlisted agencies will receive more details about the product later
this week, with a final decision expected shortly.
The account will be largely direct marketing based, but TSB is
understood to be keen to appoint a full-service agency with strong
above-the-line credentials. The search for a shop is being led by Chris
Moss, the head of campaign management at TSB.
Moss, who helped to create the Orange brand for Hutchison Telecom, was
brought in by TSB in December. This new role gave him responsibility for
co-ordinating all of the bank’s product and branding campaigns as it
prepared for the pounds 13.6 billion merger with Lloyds.
Moss is also involved in determining creative strategy and media
Since 1990, when the Royal Bank of Scotland and the NSPCC launched the
first affinity card in the UK, increasing numbers of clients have set up
loyalty building schemes. There are now 1.5 million affinity cards,
which accounts for 5 per cent of all credit cards, according to the
Credit Card Research Group.
The biggest launch so far was Vauxhall’s GM card, which debuted in 1994
with a pounds 15 million budget through K Advertising.
The news of the launch of TSB/British Gas affinity card comes in the
same week that Tesco announced it was also launching its own credit
card. The card will be co-branded with NatWest.