Esso in 11m review as JWT quits

Oil giant Esso has called a review of its 11m advertising account after J Walter Thompson London was forced to resign it last week when Shell awarded the agency’s European network its $90m (55m) brief.

However, McCann-Erickson, which has Esso business in other worldwide markets, is tipped to win Esso’s full-service account.

JWT’s sister WPP agency, Ogilvy & Mather London, lost the Shell UK account, worth 7m (Register-MEAL), last week following a review exclusively revealed in Marketing Week (November 29 1996).

JWT London was most adver-sely affected by the $90m win because it has been forced to ditch the full-service account for Esso.

Esso spent 11m (Register-MEAL) through the London office.

Shell’s media buying is handled by CIA across Europe. A JWT insider says: “Obviously, WPP wants to win the media back and we will not rest until JWT has wrested it back from CIA.”

JWT European communications director Christine Barker says the move by the oil company is part of an effort to centralise advertising into single agencies.

Publicis lost business in Scandinavia and France, where it had held the Shell account for 40 years.

O&M still handles advertising for Shell in Australia, South Africa and North and South America.

Tim Davis, JWT’s global business director, says the pitch was strategic, not creative.

“The pitches demonstrated our strength of management across Europe,” he adds.

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