LMUK lines up three to compete for Nectar digital brief

Nectar, the customer loyalty reward scheme with £50 million backing from its founders Sainsburys, BP, Debenhams and Barclaycard, is seeking a digital creative agency.

Loyalty Management UK, which runs the Nectar operation, has drawn up a shortlist of three new-media agencies for the task of launching its first new-media campaign early next year.

The Nectar brand has so far not had an agency to handle its digital work.

Its creative account is handled by WCRS.

The move comes as Nectar looks to broaden its cross-media advertising strategy, which has so far focused on TV and print executions.

Since launching two months ago, Nectar has suffered a number of technical problems with its website (www.nectar. com), which was developed jointly by LMUK and the agency Infosys - during the loyalty card's launch, the site crashed under the weight of consumer demand to sign up to the scheme online. The website has relaunched after two months of testing.

"Nectar has never had a digital creative agency, but we always knew there would be a lot of advertising activity online and that it would start to be introduced around six months after its launch," the marketing director at LMUK, Richard Campbell, said.

He added: "We also always planned that there would be a phase two website to go live in spring next year. We wanted to launch the website and then progress. We hope to make a decision before Christmas."

Seperately, Nectar has this week claimed to be the largest loyalty programme in the UK with 11 million active cardholders in its first two months of launch. It claims the rival Tesco Clubcard scheme has ten million users.