Irate Don hits Shell investors

Shell UK dealers and institutional shareholders have received letters from sales promotion company Don Marketing accusing Shell of a cover-up involving a “flawed” promotion.

Don and Shell are involved in a long-running legal dispute, due to come to court in February. Don has issued three high court writs and county court proceedings against Shell, alleging the wrongful use of retail promotions developed by Don Marketing. Shell has settled one of the three writs out of court.

Now Don has formed the Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group, put ads in the petrol trade press rallying support from others who have had dealings with the firm and written to institutional investors. Those who have received a letter include the pension fund manager of The Equitable Life Assurance Society, a heavy investor in Shell.

“This pressure group has been formed by more than a dozen individuals and companies owning shares in Shell because of our growing concern about the ethical conduct of Shell UK,” says Alfred Donovan, who founded the group in support of his son John – who runs Don Marketing.

Shell UK says Don initiated the legal proceedings and that it will wait for its day in court. “Shell UK is sorry Donovan has not felt confident enough to await the outcome of the legal proceedings which he initiated and which Shell is keen to conclude.”

Forte seeks global head of marketing Forte is looking for its first world-wide marketing director, after splitting its central sales and marketing function into two.

Forte has promoted Jackie Kernaghan, who has been acting sales and marketing director since November last year, to the new position of worldwide sales director. It has also created a second new position – worldwide marketing director. Both jobs are at managing director level, which puts them on a par with heads of Forte brands.

A Forte spokeswoman says: “We have changed the focus of our sales and marketing and are putting more weight behind each function.”

The centralised teams will concentrate on the group’s top 200 accounts, she says, and on other services such as the Forte card. Otherwise, “we will be continuing with separate marketing teams for the brands”.

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