Shell faces new threat to Smart card scheme

Don Marketing, the sales promotion agency embroiled in a legal wrangle with Shell UK, is threatening to send letters to Shell’s 1,700 service stations warning owners about the legal implications of operating the Smart card scheme.

Managing director John Donovan intends to send a “letter before action” to a sample station – Tim Brinton Cars in Bury St Edmunds – then roll out the mailing to the entire network at a later date.

The proposed “letter before action” warns that Don Marketing has the legal right to seek damages against any company participating in the Shell Smart scheme without consent from John Donovan.

Shell’s solicitor DJ Freeman has written to Donovan’s solicitors Royds Treadwell warning that “the sending of such notices amounts to an inducement to breach their contractual commitments to our clients, and as such, are unlawful”.

But Donovan is adamant that the letter will be sent even though the full mailing to all service stations will cost thousands of pounds.

“It is our firm intention to send it and if stations continue to operate the Smart scheme we will issue further proceedings to stop them,” he says.

Don Marketing has issued two writs alleging Shell UK breached copyright on the concept idea used to create the Smart card loyalty programme and for alleged defamation of Donovan in a press statement (MW April 16 and 23).

Shell has been warned by its solicitors not to speak to the press following Donovan’s defamation action.

The company issued a state ment saying: “The proper forum for resolving these matters is in court and proceedings are moving forward to enable them to be resol-ved there.”

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here