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Shell: ‘claims will fail’


Incentive Today: Shell: ‘claims will fail’

April 1995

A statement from Shell UK regarding claims by Don Marketing that the petroleum company used two forecourt promotions ‘Nintendo’ and ‘Now Showing’) without its consent, ‘will fail in court’ says Shell.

Shell’s statement has been prompted by a publicity campaign conducted by Don Marketing’s managing director John Donovan and his father Alfred Donovan to highlight the company’s grievances. Despite Shell making the agency an out-of-court settlement of £60,000 over the use-without-consent issue, Alfred Donovan has recently set up a ‘Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group’ to bring attention to what he believes is Shell’s misconduct in relation to several promotions the company has run.

‘There are serious flaws with the “Make Money” promotion,’ says John Donovan, ‘and for this reason we have referred the promotion to the ASA.’ The promotion uses a sealed-envelope mechanic which contains correct and incorrect answers. ‘The winners can easily be identified using a torch and in addition the wrong type of glue has been used on the envelopes which means that forecourt staff can easily unseal and reseal the envelopes,’ says Donovan. Don Marketing owns the joint rights to the promotions.

Shell says Don Marketing ‘has adopted the unusual course of mounting a publicity campaign to ventilate allegations against Shell and its members of staff [… ] Shell is always anxious to resolve disputes amicably whenever possible but in this case sees no alternative but to allow the litigation to take its course.’

In response, John Donovan says: ‘We can prove everything we say.’

Link to Original Article

Update July 2008: Contrary to the assertion that it would “allow the litigation to take its course”, Shell settled both claims out of court paying substantial damages and all legal costs. 

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

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