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Forecourt Trader: Shell action abandoned

Forecourt Trader: Shell action abandoned

August 1999

The long-running and acrimonious dispute between Shell UK and sales promotion agency Don Marketing has ended following a statement released by both parties last month. The dispute centred on Don Marketing’s claim that Shell stole its idea for the Smart loyalty scheme. John Donovan, managing director of Don Marketing, took legal action against Shell claiming breach of contract and misuse of confidential information. Shell counter-sued him for breach of confidentiality.

Mr Donovan claims that between 1989 and 1992 he had a series of meetings with Shell where he outlined plans for a card-based, multibrand loyalty scheme. Two years after Mr Donovan’s last meeting with Shell where he was apparently assured of involvement if the scheme went ahead, Shell launched a trial of its Smart card without him.

In last month’s statement it was announced that Mr Donovan had abandoned his claim against Shell and his related libel proceedings, and had acknowledged that the claims were without foundation and should not have been brought. It said he had also withdrawn all allegations of impropriety made against Shell or its employees in connection with these proceedings and has agreed not to repeat them. For its part, Shell acknowledged the proceedings were brought in good faith.

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