Advertising & Promotion: Shell hand JWT pounds 60m business

Shell has consolidated its pounds 60m European advertising account in J Walter Thompson as the Anglo-Dutch oil giant prepares to revamp its image across Europe.

Shell has consolidated its pounds 60m European advertising account

in J Walter Thompson as the Anglo-Dutch oil giant prepares to revamp its

image across Europe.



JWT’s appointment follows a three-month review involving Shell’s other

roster agencies, Publicis and Ogilvy & Mather, and has forced the

Berkeley Square agency to drop Esso’s pounds 11m account in the UK.



JWT worked closely with Esso on Price Watch - the campaign that kicked

off the petrol price wars a year ago.



A new European advertising campaign is expected to break during the year

although, as the agencies were not asked for a creative pitch, JWT has

yet to decide on the new strategy.



An important consideration, however, is likely to be the need to improve

Shell’s poor environmental and human rights image.



This hit rock bottom last year when it was criticised over its attitude

toward the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa’s execution by the Nigerian government

after he protested over the company’s oil exploration in his tribal

land.



A campaign calling on consumers to boycott Shell stations was launched

across Europe.



The exact dates on which JWT will start to work on the business vary

from country to country, but the agency is expected to be in full

control by the end of this year.



Esso was unable to comment as Marketing went to press but it is expected

to put its UK account up for pitch and McCann-Erickson is believed to be

keen to step into JWT’s shoes.



Shell’s decision to appoint a pan-European agency comes as the company

struggles to achieve greater economies of scale and to create more

international consistency across its brand.



The decision follows the appointment of CIA Medianetwork last year as

the company’s European media agency.



The company has already harmonised its international agency

relationships, with JWT already handling the firm’s Asian business while

Ogilvy & Mather holds the account in Australia, North and South America

and South Africa.



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