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Vetting Emails Meant For Shell

Don Marketing Director John Donovan, Shell Mastermind Game 1984

By John Donovan

I recently published an article entitled: Shell Wages Legal Fight Over Web Domain Name (the headline of a Wall Street Journal article published in 2005).

The negative outcome for Shell – it lost the case – has had long-term humiliating consequences, which continue to this day.

On a daily basis, ever since, we receive emails meant for Shell. These include job applications, shareholder and pension enquiries, invitations to make speeches, and numerous business proposals, including offers to sell oil wells. We have even received terrorist threats.

The volume of incoming emails was such that in 2007 the then Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc Mr. Michiel Brandjes, authorised me in writing to vet the emails, separating out the junk and passing on to him what I thought Shell ought to see.

Here is my directly relevant email correspondence with Mr. Brandjes on the subject and the same correspondence in overall context within a string of email correspondence, also involving The Times newspaper.

As indicated, the incredible arrangement of Shell’s No.1 critic sifting through the emails continues to this day: I recently passed on an invitation to Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden from a very high level Russian government official. A VIP.

I have however always acted with appropriate discretion in carrying out this unpaid important vetting service for Shell, despite the fact that I have never been thanked in the last decade for doing so.

I wonder what Shell investors make of this continuing bizarre situation? and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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