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
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.