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Forecourt Trader: Pressure group to target Shell

Forecourt Trader: Pressure group to target Shell

February 1995

Picture Caption: Don Marketing’s managing director, John Donovan

The protracted legal wranglings between promotions specialist Don Marketing and Shell (UK) have prompted Alfred Donovan, father of Don Marketing’s managing director, John Donovan, to form the Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group, dedicated to changing Shell’s “lack of interest in settling disputes amicably” and the way in which the company controls the flow of information to the people it works with.

The move is an attempt to bring together other interested parties, such as shareholders and dealers, who are “unhappy at the ethical conduct” of the company.

The group claims that it already has “a dozen individuals and companies owning shares in Shell” as members, and that “many [more] are also unhappy”. Mr Donovan senior said that he felt compelled to set up the pressure group after his son found it necessary to issue High Court writs to Shell.

Meanwhile, response to Don Marketing’s advertisement and questionnaire (see January issue) has been encouraging, according to John Donovan. In the questionnaire dealers were asked to state whether they knew that Make Money and other promotions ” … were flawed” and whether they would have continued to run the promotions if they had been made aware of the fact.

“We confirmed to dealers, licensees and other operators, that information would be confidential and the response was very interesting,” said Mr Donovan.

The company and its legal advisors have also prepared a response letter, explaining Don Marketing’s current legal position and elaborating on its allegations against Shell.

The letter is intended for dealers who have replied to the questionnaire, and a copy has been sent to Shell which, according to Mr Donovan, has “until midday [on January 26] to comment on its accuracy”.

It states that forecourt staff could “identify the hidden prizes on a large proportion of the [Nintendo] game leaflets”, and that although this had been pointed out to Shell promotions manager Andrew Lazenby who “accepted the game was open to abuse”, the promotion continued. The letter describes the Make Money promotion as “seriously flawed”.

Commenting on the letter, a Shell spokesman said it was one of many and that Shell “didn’t intend to comment on every single letter from Mr Donovan”.

“A legal process has been initiated in which Shell is participating and the company intends to see the action through court,” he said.

The dispute continues.

Link to Original Article…

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