Esso Retail, the UK fuel retail division which oversees oil giant
Exxon’s forecourts, has appointed Countrywide Porter Novelli to provide
ongoing PR support.
Countrywide, which has worked for Esso Retail on a six-month project
following a competitive pitch in December, has now been confirmed as
Esso Retail’s ongoing project agency.
The agency will conduct a trade and consumer PR campaign supporting
Esso’s marketing initiatives. Countrywide will also provide issues
management support. The account will be led by senior consultant Jacky
Fiona Joyce, managing director of Countrywide Porter Novelli, said: ’We
are delighted to have such a prestigious account under our wing. With
the forecourt retail sector in a constant state of evolution we expect
to be kept very busy.’
Esso is the UK’s leading petrol forecourt operation, with over 1,800
service stations in rural, high street and motorway sites
Over the past year, it has come under increasing competition from
Shell’s Select brand of forecourt shops. Last year Shell acquired Gulf
Oil’s network of 450 service station shops.
Esso employs Scope Ketchum, a sister agency to Countrywide in the
Omnicom Group, to handle PR for the company’s Corporate Community
Involvement Programme. This includes its contribution to the Millennium
campaign to encourage the public to grow trees.
Esso Retail currently operates a low cost guarantee scheme, known as
Pricewatch, which was launched two and half years ago as a replacement
for the tiger tokens loyalty scheme. Pricewatch promises to match the
lowest petrol price of any petrol retailer within a one-mile radius and
any supermarket within three miles.
Esso Retail is a division of Texas-based Exxon Corporation which
operates or markets products in more than 100 countries and each day
sells about 65 million gallons of motor fuel to more than eight million
drivers. In 1997, the company registered revenue of pounds 86 billion,
up 2 per cent on 1996. Its net income in 1997 was pounds 5,288 million,
up 12.6 per cent on 1996.