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November 1994

SHELL UK OIL is being sued for over £350,000 damages for alleged use of promotional ideas without permission or, in some cases, payment. In a writ issued at the end of September, Bury St Edmunds-based sp consultancy Don Marketing accuses Shell of repeatedly using ideas put to it speculatively and in confidence. Don cites Shell’s July ’94 “Now Showing” promo and a Nintendo promo in 1993 – the latter the subject of a previous writ served last April and settled out of court by Shell for “a substantial sum”.

Don’s managing director, John Donovan, told Debrief that a third writ was issued on 20 October and that a county court action is also pending. Donovan claims the Shell executive concerned in the dispute, national promotions manager Andrew Lazenby, has been transferred to another division of the company and that the matter is now handled personally by the oil giant’s managing director David Varney. Don evolved Shell’s legendary ‘Make Money’ promo back in 1984 (still the benchmark by which the success of forecourt promotions is measured) and the relationship between the two companies – now sadly soured – spans thirteen years.

Afterthought: if Shell ‘repeatedly’ filched Don’s ideas, why on earth did Don continue to keep ’em coming?]

Marketing, 20//0/94

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