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
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.’