M&C Saatchi has muscled its way on to the Shell roster with a multi
million pound assignment to launch a smart card being planned by a
consortium led by the petrol giant.
The invitation to join Ogilvy and Mather on the company’s agency list
follows six months of covert work by M&C Saatchi on strategic projects,
including the smart card.
During that time, Maurice Saatchi and Nick Hurrell, the agency’s joint
managing director, have made presentations to Shell chiefs as well as
the consortium’s prospective partners.
The agency is currently working on advertising ideas for a major
campaign, which will run once Shell has signed the partners with which
it will work. Final ad budgets will be agreed once the consortium has
Hurrell said: ‘We can’t say exactly when the advertising will begin, but
our recommendation is that it should be sooner rather than later, so
that the consortium can capitalise on its advantage in a loyalty market
that is becoming more congested by the day.’
The new card builds on the technology already developed for Shell UK’s
existing Smart card. The company claims the card has protected it during
the recent vicious forecourt price wars while increasing loyalty and
boosting the spending of customers.
Shell has been talking to a range of companies from airlines and holiday
operators to banks, telecommunications groups, and high street retailers
about joining it in the consortium.