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PROMOTIONS & INCENTIVES: Shell promotions dispute intensifies

PROMOTIONS & INCENTIVES: Shell promotions dispute intensifies

April 1995

The legal dispute between Shell and Don Marketing over the origin of two promotions has become a public feud, with both sides adopting hardline positions.

Don Marketing’s managing director John Donovan has given Shell a seven-day ultimatum to retract a statement it issued last month to the business press on the affair – or face a libel writ.

“It’s not libellous. Anything else he does is up to him,” says a defiant Shell spokesman.

Donovan and his father Alfred have recently founded the Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group, which is polling 1,000 Shell retailers to discover their views on the company. As a result a TV news show is now investigating the whole affair.

The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating a complaint levelled by the SCCPG alleging that Shell’s Make Money promotion was flawed because players could see winning tickets through the envelopes, or reseal envelopes with no trace.

“Shell would not run a promotion if it felt it was insecure for its retailers,” says a spokesman.

Shell has applied to the High Court for security for costs. This hearing will occur on April 13, with the timing of further legal action dependant on the result. If Shell is successful, Don Marketing will not be able to proceed with the case unless it can prove it could meet Shell’s legal costs if it lost. Shell is asking for £62,000.

Donovan slapped a writ on Shell for £350,000 at the end of last year over Shell’s Now Showing promotion, and another a year ago over a Nintendo promotion. Donovan alleges the original ideas came from Don Marketing, and that Shell then used them without authority or payment, which Shell denies.

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