B&Q has embarked on its first viral marketing campaign in an attempt to drive sales and clear stock.

The DIY retailer said the move has been in B&Q’s plans for a while and it hopes the campaign will appeal to a wider audience in the run-up to the August bank holiday weekend.

A spokeswoman said: “We’ll see how it goes and gauge the reaction. There is a lot of clearance going on in store. We are always looking for opportunities to show people what B&Q has to offer.”

Customers must receive an email to obtain the voucher. The email contains a link that takes them to the B&Q website where they can download the “exclusive” voucher, which offers customers 15% off everything from August 20 to 25.

The email encourages recipients to send it on to friends and family.

Robin Goad, director of research for online marketing advisers Hitwise, predicted the campaign could result in a 25% to 50% spike in traffic to the B&Q website.

He said the trend for viral campaigns began with Gap and Threshers three years ago.

He added: “Vouchers have become immensely popular in the UK, as British consumers look for the best deals to save money during the recession. Viral campaigns can create a bit of a buzz for retailers.”