4 Shops Vie for Quaker State

NEW YORK Shell Oil has launched a review for creative chores on its Quaker State brand and hand picked four agencies to compete, sources said. Estimated annual billings are $20-25 million.

The contenders are: WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson in Detroit; Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.; independent Doner in Southfield, Mich.; and the incumbent, Tucker Hampel Stefanides & Partners in New York, also an independent, said sources.

JWT’s Houston office handles ad duties on Shell and TBWA\C\D handles Pennzoil, another Shell brand. Doner is the only non-roster shop in the bunch. The agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. Quaker State’s most recent ads feature comedian and actor Denis Leary, whose tough-guy mien is used to personify the brand.

Pitches are slated for mid-September, with a decision shortly thereafter, said sources. The review is being managed by New York consultancy Roth Associates, which did not return calls. A Shell representative in Houston had no immediate comment.

Media duties, handled by Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media in New York, are not in play, according to sources.