BP risks drink-drive row over Thresher loyalty plan

BP Oil is understood to be talking to off-licence chain Thresher about a loyalty scheme in a move which risks the wrath of the anti drink-drive lobby.

The petrol giant is understood to be looking at a smart card-based loyalty programme to launch in the latter half of next year along the lines of Shell’s scheme, Shell Smart.

Industry sources say BP and Thresher are exchanging letters of intent to pursue talks on the subject, although no contracts have been signed.

BP says it is concentrating its attention on the That’s Entertainment promotion which launched last month through the Interfocus agency. The scheme involves a tie-up with Blockbuster Video stores.

BP would neither confirm nor deny that it was talking to Thresher, while Thresher refused to comment.

“We have discussions with all sorts of people regarding putting together promotions,” says BP marketing development manager Gerry Abram. “At this stage we are not prepared to say exactly what we are looking at.”

Any link-up between BP and an off-licence chain for promotions would cause controversy since it would leave the petrol company open to charges of encouraging drink-driving.

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