Exxon Mobil pumps up the publicity following merger

DALLAS: Following the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of Exxon Mobil’s dollars 81 billion marriage on November 30, the newly merged company has begun to tout itself and its brands aggressively.

DALLAS: Following the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of Exxon Mobil’s dollars 81 billion marriage on November 30, the newly merged company has begun to tout itself and its brands aggressively.

DALLAS: Following the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of Exxon

Mobil’s dollars 81 billion marriage on November 30, the newly merged

company has begun to tout itself and its brands aggressively.



Though the two petroleum giants were prohibited from saying too much

publicly in the months leading up to the mega-merger, Exxon Mobil is now

making up for lost time.



Within a week, the world’s largest publicly owned oil company announced

the appointment of more than 30 executives (many in PR), the structure

of its 11 operating units and a global ad campaign.



Leading internal PR efforts will be Ken Cohen, who replaces the retiring

Anthony Atkiss as public affairs VP. A Yale-educated attorney, Cohen

worked 22 years for Exxon USA in the law and public affairs departments,

and has led its public affairs team since 1990. Peter Townsend, Exxon’s

VP of IR, is assuming a similar position for Exxon Mobil.



In the wake of the merger, the companies’ PR staffs have been

consolidated in three cities, according to spokesman Tom Cirigliano.

Corporate communications will be directed from the company’s Irving, TX

headquarters, while PR pros in Houston will support its five ’upstream’

operations, which include oil and gas exploration as well as chemical

and coal businesses. ’Downstream’ functions - marketing, refining and

retail products - will be based out of Mobil’s former Fairfax, VA

location.



There will, of course, be some post-merger growing pains, as the company

is expected to cut more than 9,000 of its 123,000 jobs worldwide. Citing

a policy against discussing staffing, Cirigliano would not say how many

PR jobs might be at risk. ’We’re still completing staffing assignments,’

he said.



Cirigliano also declined to speculate on how the merger might affect

outside PR firms. While Exxon and Mobil were hesitant in the past to

talk about their use of outside contractors, Cirigliano acknowledged

that Fleishman-Hillard and Winner/Wagner, two of the agencies that have

worked with Exxon on a project basis, are still in the marketing

mix.



The new entity will continue to support all three of its flagship brands

(Exxon, Mobil and Esso). No significant PR push will accompany the vast

advertising campaign Exxon Mobil announced earlier this month, although

Cirigliano said additional communications initiatives may be added

later.



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