NEWS: Pinnell hired to lift Shell image

Shell International, damaged by controversy surrounding the company’s environmental and human rights record has called in former NatWest chief, Raoul Pinnell, to revive its fortunes.

Shell International, damaged by controversy surrounding the company’s

environmental and human rights record has called in former NatWest

chief, Raoul Pinnell, to revive its fortunes.



Pinnell will head up Shell International’s brand and marketing

communications operation, with responsibility for all its international

markets except the US. He will report to David Pirret, head of marketing

services. Pinnell replaces Mike Kesztenbaum, who has moved to Shell’s

Greek operation.



The recruitment of a high-profile marketer is likely to be a key element

in the rehabilitation of Shell’s public image.



The oil giant was publicly vilified for its decision to dump the Brent

Spar oil storage platform in the North Sea, and for its failure to

defend the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa from execution by the Nigerian

government for protesting over Shell’s oil exploration in the country.



Shell now admits that it neglected the environmental sensitivities of

consumers over the Brent Spar issue and is expected to incorporate a

reference to human rights in its statement of business principles.



The company is also to launch a pan-European marketing drive next year,

including brand-building advertising, to highlight the company’s

positive role in the international community.



The company has asked its roster agencies Ogilvy & Mather, J Walter

Thompson and Publicis to pitch for its pounds 60m European business,

having previously advertised on a country-by-country basis. The pitch

will be concluded in January.



Pirret said Pinnell will be responsible for the image of Shell along

with the marketing of its fuel, retail and loyalty operations.



‘He will do all the aspects of the brand and marketing communications

side. He is basically the steward of the brand.’



Pirret added that a corporate brand-building campaign designed to

represent the company is an option for next year.



Pinnell was responsible for modernising NatWest’s image and introduced

advertising designed to give the company a softer consumer-oriented

image.



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