Esso seeks agency as JWT scoops rival Shell

Esso has confounded speculation that it would hand its pounds 11 million UK account to its worldwide agency, McCann-Erickson, by putting the business up for competitive pitch.

Esso has confounded speculation that it would hand its pounds 11

million UK account to its worldwide agency, McCann-Erickson, by putting

the business up for competitive pitch.



The review follows J. Walter Thompson’s resignation of Esso, a move

forced upon the UK agency by the appointment of JWT as sole agency in

Europe for Esso’s arch rival, Shell, last Friday.



Esso is understood to have approached the Incorporated Society of

British Advertisers earlier this week to discuss its agency options.



A spokeswoman for Esso said: ’Esso is taking this opportunity to review

its advertising programme and is currently completing an initial agency

review.’



In the UK, JWT is swapping the Esso account for the lesser-spending

pounds 7 million Shell business, which moves from Ogilvy and Mather. The

switch will be especially painful for JWT Manchester, which handled much

of Esso’s through-the-line advertising.



JWT will handle advertising for Shell in 30 countries across Western

Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Turkey. The account will be run

by three senior JWT executives: Harry Kramp, the chairman of JWT

Amsterdam, Richard Block, the JWT Europe planning director based in

London, and Joe Nutt, the European account leader based in Germany.



JWT won the business after a pitch against two other Shell roster

agencies, O&M and Publicis. Shell hopes its move to one European agency

will ’produce greater international consistency of the Shell brand and

achieve cost improvements’.



David Watson, Shell Europe’s brand communication convergence manager and

one of three senior Shell marketers who oversaw the pitch, said: ’Across

the range of criteria (which included agency network, client servicing

and pan-regional experience), Thompsons came out best.’



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