Shell global restructuring offers shops opportunities

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Shell Oil Co., which acquired Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. last fall, is restructuring into a global organization, a move that could result in the overseas launch of Pennzoil and/or Quaker State and more business for the company's creative and media agencies.

Doug Boyle, president-lubricants unit in North America, said no decisions have been made about globally launching either the Pennzoil or Quaker State brands since the new structure is months away. His group won't even study the matter until next year, when he becomes president of the new Shell unit, global automotive consumer products, based in Houston.

Shell's passenger-car motor oil brands tally $3 billion in worldwide revenue annually for parent Royal Dutch-Shell Group. Shell's Helix motor oil isn't a player in the U.S. and its international media spending "has been relatively small historically," Mr. Boyle said. "We see an opportunity to increase" spending outside the U.S.

Helix creative is handled by WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co., Shell's global creative agency of record. Helix's ads are tied to the brand's longstanding sponsorship of Ferrari's Formula One racing. One person close to Shell doubts Shell will introduce Helix in the U.S. due to the strength of its Pennzoil and Quaker State brands here. The two brands combined spend a $50 million in U.S. media annually.


Earlier this year, the marketer completed U.S. reviews for Pennzoil creative and consolidated media for Quaker and Pennzoil. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media, New York, won the consolidated broadcast media account in late July. At the time, Steve Hanson, who left last week as senior VP-marketing for the brands, said one reason Initiative won was because of its global reach, a criteria which arose as the review progressed since Shell is considering expanding the two brands overseas.

Mr. Boyle said Initiative's global capabilities "were in the back of our minds" during the review.

In Europe, Grey Global Group's MediaCom has Shell's $160 million media account.

Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, won Pennzoil's creative account in April. Quaker State's creative wasn't put into review. Independent Tucker Hampel Stefanides & Partners, New York, remains that brand's agency.

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