Take-up of the new combined loyalty card Nectar has exceeded expectations, with the result that advertising is going to be cut back.

Shoppers can use the Nectar card to gain points at Sainsbury's supermarkets, Debenhams department stores or BP, as well as by using their Barclaycard. Loyalty Management UK, which runs the scheme, said that the initial marketing campaign has been scaled down after take-up was greater than forecast.

Fewer adverts for the Nectar card will now appear on television and in newspapers.

The online registration facility was pulled last week after it proved insufficiently robust to cope with demand.

A spokeswoman for Nectar said: "We expected 50% of households to sign up in the first year of the scheme, but interest has been huge. We are well on the way to reaching that target in the first few months of the launch."