Another Tankful for BBDO

Shell Sales Promos Team With Texaco in Houston
DALLAS–BBDO in Houston, which already handles all local marketing and collateral programs for White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco, was awarded last week the national and local sales promotion business for Shell Oil Co.
Billings were undisclosed. For the first time since Shell and Texaco combined their refining and local marketing efforts under a joint venture last year, the two companies will now share an agency for down-the-line marketing work.
BBDO’s Scott Steer, vice president and management supervisor for both brands, said the new assignment is not a conflict with Texaco, since it is an extension of the joint venture’s alignment. Both Shell and Texaco promotions are already done cooperatively by a co-op client marketing team. “The people out in the field [for Texaco and for Shell] are the same people,” Steer said.
The incumbent on the Shell promotional business was Louis London, headquartered in St. Louis. The transfer does not affect Ogilvy & Mather, Shell’s corporate and retail marketing agency in Houston.
Under Texaco and Shell’s domestic alliance (formed in two groups, based on geographic factors), the petroleum firms combined their service station and lubricants marketing forces under one roof, but retained individual agencies for each brand. Corporate-level work is excluded from the arrangement.
Steer admitted the alliance has been an “evolutionary process,” with client marketing officials having to ensure both brands are promoted and marketed equally. When asked how the operation would deal with market overlap–for instance, a Shell promotion that might draw customers away from a local Texaco station–he said, “We haven’t come into that situation as of yet.”
The joint venture was spurred by competitive pressures rooted in low crude prices. Besides the Texaco-Shell venture, alliances and mergers have developed both regionally (Ultramar Diamond Shamrock-Phillips) and globally (Exxon-Mobil).
BBDO handles Texaco’s corporate work in its New York office.