NEWS: Shandwick hired to counter Shell’s image problem

Shell International has called in PR firm Shandwick to re-build its dented image after the twin PR disasters of Brent Spar and Nigeria.

Shell International has called in PR firm Shandwick to re-build its

dented image after the twin PR disasters of Brent Spar and Nigeria.



The company hired Shandwick on a project basis following informal talks

with other international PR agencies.



Colin Trusler, managing director of Shandwick UK confirmed the

appointment, but declined to comment on the nature of the work. However,

industry sources indicated Shandwick has both a corporate PR and public

affairs brief.



It is believed the aim of the programme is to rebuild the Shell image

and focus attention on the positive side of the company’s successful

restructuring and financial performance rather than the controversy

which has dogged the company for the last year.



As well as the problems over the disposal of the Brent Spar, the company

has faced growing criticism of its operations in Nigeria which have been

the subject of a campaign for environmental compensation by Ogoni

activists since 1991.



It is believed that part of Shandwick’s role was ‘damage limitation’

over the latest allegations made this month by ITV’s World in Action

programme. The programme alleged that Shell had adopted lower

environmental standards in Nigeria than elsewhere and that it had

considered buying guns for Nigerian security forces.



A Shell spokesman declined to comment on whether Shandwick had done any

work around the programme.



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