Nectar just teamed up with the Daily Mail and its members aren’t happy

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Loyalty points scheme Nectar has teamed up with the Daily Mail, prompting a flurry of angry reactions from its members.

The loyalty scheme, where users can collect points at a number of outlets including Sainsbury’s, Pizza Express and Argos, launched a partnership with the Daily Mail newspaper last week.

But the reaction from its customer base has not been great, with many cutting up their Nectar cards and posting photos online, and many taking to social media to say they will close their accounts.

Nectar Facebook post

Users have accused the Mail of being “homophobic”, “transphobic” and “misogynistic”, questioning its coverage of other issues like immigration, and publicly asking Nectar and its other partners why they would affiliate themselves with the publication.

One user wrote on Facebook that the Daily Mail is “fascist, racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic, transphobic, far-right-sympathising”, asking Nectar why it is affiliating itself with the newspaper.

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Another took to the social media site to cite the case of Lucy Meadows, a transgender teacher who died in 2013. A coroner attacked the right-wing media, saying “shame on you” after his findings in her death.

The Mail was heavily criticised for its coverage of the Meadows case, including columnist Richard LittleJohn who was criticised after writing about her, and reportedly outing her as trans.

But the paper defended LittleJohn’s column, which was later edited to remove references to Meadows.

“This newspaper hounded, harassed, and monstered a teacher for being transgender until she took her own life. And they kept at it afterwards. Her name was Lucy Meadows.

“In the words of the coroner on the case:

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“Shame on you.”

Another Facebook user wrote: “Hi Nectar, presumably you agree with the racist, homophobic, immigrant bashing rubbish that comes out of Daily Mail seeing as you have chosen this shameful association? I think you are going to regret this decision and should reconsider before you do damage to your brand and lose customers.”

The post on Facebook announcing the partnership with the Mail has been shared over 3,000 times and has been commented on more than 8,000 times.

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Another wrote: “Hi Nectar, presumably you agree with the racist, homophobic, immigrant bashing rubbish that comes out of Daily Mail seeing as you have chosen this shameful association? I think you are going to regret this decision and should reconsider before you do damage to your brand and lose customers.”

More than 6,000 people used the ‘angry’ reaction on Facebook and hundreds more used the ‘sad’ button.

By comparison, just over 200 used the ‘like’ button to positively react to the announcement.

Nectar’s Facebook page also saw a dramatic dip in its number of likes in the days following the launch.

A generic response was posted by Nectar to those complaining about the link, which read: “We’re sorry to hear you’re disappointed. The primary factor in our decision making for any new partnership is our current customer base. From our data and research, we know that there is a large crossover between our customers and Mail readers. Hopefully, you can take part in other offers which you find more appealing. Thank you for the feedback though!”

But this hasn’t stopped many from asking publicly how they can close their accounts with Nectar, and to stop their details from being shared with the Mail.

Hundreds have taken to Twitter too to ask how to close their accounts, with many sharing photos of their points card cut up in protest.

Nectar appears to be spending a lot of time responding to complaints and questions from users.

The company responded on Twitter with another generic response to a lot of users, saying: “The mail group are joining the Nectar programme but aren’t a direct partner of Sainsbury’s and are only linked via Nectar.”

cut up nectar card

Many have also said they will avoid other partners of Nectar like Sainsbury’s, while the partnership with the Mail is still in place.

It is understood that only Nectar users who link up their MyMail accounts will have their details shared with the publication.

Nectar also released a short public statement addressing the controversy.

It read: “We understand how strongly many of our customers feel about this and we respect your feedback.

“We would like to reiterate that we in no way wanted to upset any of our valued customers.

“With millions of Nectar collectors, we know that not all of you will support every partner, but we very much hope you will continue to use your Nectar card in the way best suited to you.”

Most recently, the Mail celebrated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality by publishing a vile homophobic hit piece on a Navy officer.

The paper has a questionable history of reporting on LGBT issues.

In October, the newspaper ran a big splash on London traffic lights featuring little green gay couples instead of little green men.

The Mail claimed that the lights could be offensive and dangerous, and might lead to tourists wandering off to the right instead of crossing the road.

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British divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears struck gold during the Olympics in August, taking the top spot in the synchronised 3m springboard.

Rather than celebrate the win, the Mail questioned why British divers hug each otherrather than settling for a “manly pat on the back” like their Chinese counterparts.

On April 1, our special PinkNews April Fools correspondent ‘Fillop Rao’ published a joke story claiming that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to take part in a nude shoot for a gay magazine.

The April Fools story incredibly managed to make it onto the Mail’s website, which dutifully reported that “Canadian PM Justin Trudeau plans to bare all for gay magazine”.

The Mail even faithfully recounted our fake quote from a source close to David Cameron alleging that he “could do more for the public good by keeping his clothes on”.

The Mail’s most famous strop of last year came after the High Court ruled that the UK government must consult Parliament on plans to leave the European Union.

The pro-Brexit newspaper ran a profile on the “three judges who blocked Brexit”, running with the title: “The judges who blocked Brexit: One who founded a EUROPEAN law group, another charged the taxpayer millions for advice, and the third is an openly gay ex-Olympic fencer”.

The newspaper was obviously not happy with plans to make HIV-preventing drugs available to gay men on the NHS, to tackle HIV transmission among at-risk groups.

Running with a front-page story, the newspaper claimed the pills are a “lifestyle drug” that represent a “skewed sense of values” and “encourage” risky sexual behaviour.

In September, New York was attacked with two pressure cooker bombs, which detonated in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, injuring 29.

MailOnline rushed to report the existence of a completely unverified Tumblr blog they claimed was written by the bomber, describing them as a militant gay activist.

The Mail on Sunday ran another front-page attack  on CBBC children’s show Just a Girl, an online educational resource that shows 11-year-old Amy on her journey to begin living as female.

The Mail also recently reported on Stephen Fry and his husband Elliott Spencer, but years on from same-sex marriage becoming legal in England and Wales and Scotland, the paper still wrote ‘husband’ in inverted commas in a caption on a photo of the happy couple.

In December the National Trust announced it would mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales with a range of events exploring Britain’s LGBT history.

Obviously, the news has not gone down well with the Daily Mail, with right-wing columnist James Delingpole lamenting that he had already cancelled his National Trust membership so can’t cancel it again.

He wrote: “You can only resign in disgust once — or I’d definitely be doing it again.”

PinkNews has reached out to Nectar for comment.

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