Shauna Lewis
Jun 4, 2023

Shell launches global media review, prompting protests at incumbent WPP’s offices

Extinction Rebellion targets energy giant over its pitch.

Shell launches global media review, prompting protests at incumbent WPP’s offices

Shell has launched a review of its global media account, currently with WPP’s EssenceMediacom.

WPP has handled media planning and buying duties for the energy giant since 2005 and Campaign understands that multiple agencies have been invited to pitch for the account.

Shell is a significant advertiser and it has previously been reported that it spent in the region of £142m on marketing annually.

A Shell spokesperson told Campaign: “Shell routinely reviews its contracts to ensure our agreements align with our business strategy and current company needs.”

News of the global review has been circulating in recent days and prompted activists from environmental campaigning group Extinction Rebellion to protest outside EssenceMediacom’s offices on Theobalds Road in central London, urging the agency not to repitch for the account.

The activists, who provided this picture (above) to news media, handed out leaflets, which said “Don’t do Shell’s dirty work” and contained suggestions on how to stop the pitch.

These suggestions included: asking agency and network heads to boycott the pitch, sharing the leaflet internally, and whistleblowing information on the pitch to Extinction Rebellion’s TruthTeller site.

Ian McDermott, one of the Extinction Rebellion protestors, said: “We understand that an agency has already refused to pitch for the Shell account on the grounds that it doesn’t fit with their values and commitments to Net Zero.”

McDermott added that the group wanted the agencies invited to pitch to take a “principled and brave stand” against working with Shell and avoid “forcing their creatives to be complicit in the accelerating climate emergency”.

EssenceMediacom declined to comment on the review but shared that it was a "very peaceful" protest outside their offices.

Shell declined to comment on the protests.

The company previously announced a new strategy, called Powering Progress, to accelerate the transition of its business to net-zero emissions, in 2021.

Campaign UK

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