US credit card issuer MBNA is understood to be close to appointing a direct marketing agency to handle a 30m brief.
It is understood that the affinity card group has been approached by retailers aiming to convert their storecards into credit cards. Last year, it launched a generic TV advertising campaign for its credit card.
An announcement on the pitch, which has been handled by marketing consultancy Abram Hawkes, is expected before the end of the month. The pitch has been shrouded in secrecy and the company denies it is looking for an agency.
MBNA runs over 500 affinity cards. One of its latest launches is the first affinity card aimed at theatregoers – when the card is used, a royalty is paid to the theatre which enlisted the cardholder.
It is one of four US credit card companies challenging the high street banks, which have a 75 per cent hold on the credit card industry in the UK. The other three are Advanta, First US and Capital One. MBNA launched in the UK in 1993.