Shell agency overhaul: JWT will split creative and MediaCom to retain media

The energy firm is thought to spend around £200m on marketing each year

Shell has completed a significant overhaul of its agency roster, with incumbent J Walter Thompson London poised to split the company's creative business with Wunderman, Geometry Global, VCCP, Dentsu and a host of other agencies, The Drum understands.

WPP-owned MediaCom is also set to hold on to the global media account, with Dentsu's Carat also believed to be in the running.

JWT has held both the retail and corporate advertising business for 21 years. However, the larger retail business went under review earlier this year. JWT lost out in the repitch and it will now be split between VCCP and a Dentsu creative agency, The Drum understands.

Sources with knowledge of the matter have said Wundeman and Mirum will also work across Shell's ad account, along with Geometry Global (shopper marketing), Edelman (PR) and Hill + Knowlton (PR and brand strategy).

Omnicom’s Doremus is reported to have been appointed as the brand's agency for B2B creative services.

Neither Shell, nor any of the agencies involved, would comment at the time of writing.

It is understood that many of the agencies were still in the process of being informed.

The oil and gas giant's creative pitch was handled by R3. Incumbent JWT repitched against independent agency Doner and others.

The increase in business is a coup for WPP bringing in more business across it's other agency brands, despite the loss incurred by JWT which has solely held the creative business for over two-decades.

The move from Shell takes the brand's marketing and buying functions from being looked after by just one holding group to being split between four networks and eight agencies.

The energy firm, which is thought to spend around $200m on marketing each year, tossed its global creative and media accounts into review at the start of 2018.

MediaCom in particular has invested heavily to accommodate Shell; 13 years ago it pooled resources into a 'Team Media for Shell' designed to handle planning and buying for the firm's global retail business as well as its corporate and recruitment advertising.

This story is developing, more coverage will follow

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