Shell International is understood to be conducting a major review
of its PR agencies.
The aim is to establish a roster of possibly no more than two or three
agencies for PR work, certainly in Europe and possibly worldwide.
The company, which refused to comment on the matter, is believed to have
talked to five international PR firms over the last few months. These
are thought to be: Burson-Marsteller, Hill and Knowlton, Shandwick, Euro
RSCG and Fleishman-Hillard.
The move is part of a wide-ranging review of the company’s
That process led the company to consolidate its pounds 60 million
European advertising account into one agency, J Walter Thompson, earlier
In terms of corporate PR and public affairs, Shell International has
used a number of agencies on different projects including Chelgate - on
Nigeria - ’public affairs management’ firm Bruce Norton Wade and Hill
Shandwick has also worked with Shell since last May, providing corporate
PR and public affairs advice. Shandwick Interactive, the agency’s
digital technology division, was given a major project last
Each of the national companies also has its own agencies including Biss
Lancaster and Charles Barker in the UK.
In the meantime Shell International has been building a substantial
in-house team. It hired no less than four senior executives - Tom
Henderson, Mike Hogan, Andrew Whyte and Michael McGarry - over a few
weeks last July.
The company also has a new branding and marketing communications
director, Raoul Pinnell, who was hired last month to take charge of
company image in all its international markets except the US.
One source suggested the company was now trying to take the opportunity
to ’weed out some of the plethora of consultancies’ it has used in the
past. And, while the decentralised structure makes it highly unlikely
that International would seek to impose one PR firm on its national
companies, roster agencies might benefit from a ’preferred supplier’