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INCENTIVE TODAY MAGAZINE: New clash for Don Marketing and Shell

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INCENTIVE TODAY MAGAZINE: New clash for Don Marketing and Shell

May 1998

OIL giant Shell is being sued for misuse of confidential information and breach of contract by Don Marketing over its use of the Shell Smart Card loyalty programme.

Don Marketing’s managing director, john Donovan, claims to have devised and refined the scheme for Shell between the years 1989-93. Donovan issued a High Court writ against Shell on 8 April following a breakdown in talks to resolve the dispute. ‘We last took the concept to Shell on 22 November 1992 at the request of the company’s national promotions manager, Andrew Lazenby,’ says Donovan. ‘We know that he briefed Option One (now Tequila/Option One which currently runs the scheme) on “Project Hercules” in January 1993. This is an almost an exact replica of our proposal to Shell.’

Option One subsequently won two ISP Gold awards for the scheme in 1995.

Neither Shell nor Tequila/Option One would discuss the case with Incentive Today but Shell has issued the Following statement:

‘Over the last four years, Mr John Donovan has made various claims that he or his company own rights in respect of several Shell forecourt promotions. His most recent allegations have been that his company invented the Smart loyalty programme and that he or his company should be compensated for its use. The claim has been most carefully investigated and discussed in correspondence with Mr Donovan and his solicitors, and Shell UK is satisfied that it is entirely without substance. Mr Donovan has now issued a writ against Shell UK in respect of Smart. We intend to defend his claims vigorously in court.’

Shell has reportedly made previous out-of-court settlements to Don Marketing running to several hundred thousand pounds over its ‘Make Money’,  ‘Nintendo’ and ‘Now Showing’ forecourt promotions.



This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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