AD IMPACT OF SHELL OIL-PENNZOIL MERGER UNCLEAR

$1.8 Billion Deal Involves Four Agencies

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Following Monday's announcement of Shell Oil Co.'s acquisition of Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., representatives for both marketers said it was too soon to tell what impact the deal would have on their advertising agencies.

At the moment, Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, handles Pennzoil and independent Tucker Partnership, New York, has Quaker State. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Houston, handles Shell in the U.S., with JWT, London, handling the global account.

Motor oil player
With the merger of

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Texaco and Chevron Corp. last year, Shell Oil Co. lost its share of Havoline motor oil as part of a divestiture with ex-partner Texaco. But the division of Royal Dutch/Shell Group wanted to remain to remain a global motor oil player, thus the plan to acquire Pennzoil-Quaker State in a cash deal it estimates at some $1.8 billion.

The deal was announced late Monday in Houston.

While Shell does market Formula Shell car motor oil, the brand is a small player. Pennzoil-Quaker State is the biggest producer of motor oil in the U.S., and the company's Jiffy Lube brand of oil change service stations has more than 2,150 locations across the country. The Pennzoil and Quaker State brands are the top two selling brands respectively.

McCarthy Mambro Bertino, Boston, is Jiffy Lube International's ad agency.

Deal rumored
A deal of this nature has been rumored inside Pennzoil for nearly two years, the spokesman there said. That's because the top two integrated oil giants -- ExxonMobil Corp. and Britain's BP, respectively -- have their own major motor oil brands.

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