Texaco and Chevron play a patriot game

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Chevron and Texaco played the patriotism card in an attempt to win critics when the companies announced their proposed merger last week.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Chevron and Texaco played the patriotism card in an attempt to win critics when the companies announced their proposed merger last week.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Chevron and Texaco played the patriotism card in an attempt to win critics when the companies announced their proposed merger last week.

In a teleconference with reporters, the CEOs of the two companies described the potential combo as a 'US-based global enterprise,' apparently riding the wave of concern about too much dependence on foreign oil. Chevron CEO Dave O'Reilly, who also would lead ChevronTexaco, said the merger would 'improve the supply picture.'

The companies face intense government relations challenges as federal regulators scrutinize the deal. They picked the right approach in portraying themselves as a home team, said Kim Martin, a VP in Fleishman-Hillard's DC office. 'That will be a good message to sell in Washington,' she said, adding that the timing for the announcement was perfect with the current high gas prices.

Other PR experts disagree, arguing that the public may fear that further consolidation in the oil and gas industry would raise prices still further.

Chevron and Texaco pooled resources early last week to set up temporary call centers staffed with communication operatives for analysts and reporters.

Neither responded to inquiries regarding active projects with outside PR firms, although the respective companies' roster shops include Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery for Texaco and Cohn & Wolfe and Joele for Chevron.



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