NEWS: Shell starts pounds 35m Euro media battle

Shell has fired the starting gun on a pan-European review of its prestigious pounds 35 million media account.

Shell has fired the starting gun on a pan-European review of its

prestigious pounds 35 million media account.



Four agency networks have been invited to pitch - the two incumbents,

Optimedia and the Network, as well as CIA Medianetwork and Leo Burnett.



The pitch is being co-ordinated from London through Media Audits and

presentations are due to start later this month. The creative business

is believed to be unaffected.



In the UK, the media account is worth about pounds 5 million and is

divided between the Network and Optimedia. The Network handles the bulk

of the business, which includes Shell petrol and Shell smart cards,

while Optimedia has the motor oils business.



The client is believed to have ordered the review as part of a pan-

European realignment to achieve greater economies of scale.



The Network currently holds the account in most of Europe, except

France, Finland, Greece, Holland, Norway and Sweden, where Optimedia is

the incumbent. In Germany, the account is held by the local BBDO media

affiliate.



Andrew Blazye, who is running the review for Shell International, was

unavailable for comment. However, a message on his voicemail directed

all ‘media review enquiries’ to Media Audits.



Michael Cluff, Media Audits’ managing director, said: ‘It’s not our

policy to talk about individual clients. Should we be working with Shell

we wouldn’t confirm it.’



The Network has handled the account in the UK for the past two-and-a-

half years, together with its creative arm, Ogilvy and Mather. Before

that, the account was with Bartle Bogle Hegarty on a full-service basis.



Shell joins a growing list of oil companies that are currently reviewing

their media arrangements. Mobil announced a pounds 20 million full-

service European review last September (Campaign, 1 September 1995).



Carat International, Initiative Media and DDB Needham were all asked to

present to Mobil. CIA orginally pitched for the business, but is

understood to have been dropped from the list.



A decision on Shell is expected by the end of March.



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