Agencies line up to pitch for 18m Shell account

Shell International has renewed talks with agencies about an estimated $30m (18m) corporate communications strategy and has included marketing consultancy Fishburn Hedges on its pitch list.

The budget is understood to be much reduced for this redefined brief – compared with the $200m (120m) speculated in February.

It is understood that advertising agencies will pitch jointly with PR consultancies. J Walter Thompson is believed to be pitching with Hill & Knowlton. It is not yet known which consultancy will pitch with M&C Saatchi, although it is believed to be in talks with Shandwick.

Fishburn Hedges is understood to be pitching alone, although it is part of the AMV group. This is because the BBDO network, of which AMV is a part, handles conflicting Texaco petrol business in the US.

Ogilvy & Mather, a Shell roster agency, is not believed to be involved in the pitch.

A Shell spokesman denies there was a search for an agency to handle a $200m campaign – although he confirms that M&C did work with Shell on an internal campaign.

It has yet to be decided whether the campaign will be global or European, though given the reduced spend a European drive is more likely.

The Shell spokesman adds: “Shell is talking to three agencies about possible corporate communications strategies. This is part of an evaluation on how it communicates with various stakeholders.”

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