Business Principles

Introduction

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In 1979, the company I co-founded, *Don Marketing, created and supplied promotional games that were used to promote petrol sales on the forecourts of all major petrol brands in the UK, including Shell.

In 1981, we moved into a  direct contractual relationship with Shell as a result of a presentation I made at Shell-Mex House in The Strand, the then London HQ of Shell UK Limited.

I put forward a proposal for Shell to launch a legal version of a promotional game called Make Money that Shell had abandoned in the 1960‘s out of concern that it was in breach of UK lottery laws. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

CHAPTER 2: An unscrupulous Shell executive

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The actions of an ambitious, unethical young Shell executive, intent on ruthlessly exploiting his position at Shell for personal gain, poisoned the previously excellent relationship we had enjoyed with the oil giant. Unfortunately, Shell senior management gave their full backing to the relevant unscrupulous executive: a decision they must regret as it has since cost the Group billions of dollars.

In 1992, in our capacity as directors of Don Marketing, a colleague and I presented in strictest confidence, a series of sales promotion ideas to a new Shell UK National Promotions Manager.

As many years have past, I have only used within this book the initials – AJL – of the relevant individuals’ name. I cannot do the same for items already published i.e. linked documents, media articles, correspondence and electronic communications.

After giving us a very positive response to our proposals, including encouraging email messages, AJL secretly funnelled our ideas to a promotions agency with whom he had a special relationship. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

CHAPTER 3: Donovan vs Shell litigation

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Shell stole confidential intellectual property from us on several occasions. We sued and Shell settled. The settlements were inevitably surrounded by secrecy and deception designed to prevent embarrassing information from reaching third parties, particularly Shell shareholders.

LITIGATION BETWEEN 1994 AND 1996

Shell tried to keep the court settlements in the pre-Smart litigation secret  – see pdf of magazine feature – “High Court papers unveil ‘secret’ Shell writ losses.” 

The feature published in April 1998 was spread over several pages of Marketing Week magazine.

Shell settlements with me were inevitably surrounded by secrecy and deception designed to prevent embarrassing information reaching third parties, particularly Shell shareholders.

The first three High Court actions brought by Don Marketing were in respect of short-term promotions. Namely, a rerun of Shell Make Money; a Nintendo Gameboy themed instant win game, and a “Now Showing” movie-themed promotion. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

CHAPTER 4: Shell hypocrisy

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In October 1996, I received an unsolicited letter of apology from Shell Chairman Dr. Chris Fay for the way we were treated by Shell. His letter arrived after Shell had already settled out of court with us for four High Court actions and one County Court case. As can be seen, the tone of the letter not meant for public consumption was totally at odds with press releases issued by Shell before and after his letter. The tone of the apology letter from Dr Fay (shown immediately below) was totally at odds with press releases and statements published or distributed to third parties by Shell before and after his letter. Examples are displayed. It is therefore difficult to avoid the conclusion that the apology letter was disingenuous. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Copy of archival information relating to Shell’s Sakhalin II debacle

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Copy of archival information relating to Shell’s Sakhalin II debacle

OUR DIRE WARNINGS ABOUT SAKHALIN II SINCE JULY 2005

ShellNews.net: The inside story of Shell’s Sakhalin II debacle: 05 January 2007

ShellNews.net: THE SHELL SAKHALIN-2 DEBACLE: Creditability concerns over Royal Dutch/Shell Executives, Jeroen van der Veer and Malcolm Brinded following the Salhalin2 $10 billion cost overrun scandal.: “The only thing which has saved the hangover management at Shell is the one element over which they have no influence – the high oil price. In every other respect, they are an unmitigated disaster. They should be sent packing.”: Monday 18 July 2005: Read the article read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Mirror Image of archival information relating to the Don Marketing / Shell litigation dating back over two decades

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Mirror Image of archival information relating to the Don Marketing/Shell litigation dating back over two decades. 

 

RICHARD WISEMAN, RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC CHIEF ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE OFFICER. FORMERLY LEGAL DIRECTOR OF SHELL UK LIMITED. MR WISEMAN DEALT WITH THE JOHN DONOVAN/ DON MARKETING vs. SHELL LITIGATION ON BEHALF OF SHELL. 

THREATS AND INTIMIDATION BY SHELL DURING PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF SHELL UK DEFENCE

A threatening letter from Shell U.K. Managing Director, David Varney (Copied to David Pirret – now a Vice President of Shell International Limited: 21 October 1994

Letter from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman (AKA Kendall Freeman) challenging John Donovan to substantiate allegations about “Shell UK and its lawyers” having “bombarded my company and my family with threats over the years (verbally and in writing.”  : 21 May 1998

Response letter from John Donovan substantiating the threats made by Shell and its employees/agents up to May 1998: 25 May 1998

Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman and Managing Director, The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c. issues threat on behalf of Shell UK Ltd: 9 April 1998

1ST EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS

Flawed Shell Make Money Game

Mackrell Turner letter to Royds solicitors acting for John Donovan/Don Marketing: 18 May 1994

2ND EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS

Shell Funding Deed signed by Shell managing director David Varney (now Sir David Varney): 6 July 1995

3RD EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS

High-level April 1998 correspondence with Shell involving Richard Wiseman (see letter from Jyoti Munsiff – 6 April 1998

Letter from John Donovan to Shell Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart:1 April 1998

Reply letter on behalf of Moody-Stuart from Jyoti Munsiff, Company Secretary, Shell Transport and Trading Company plc: 6 April 1998

Reply letter from Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman and Managing Director, Shell Transport & Trading Co Plc: 6 April 1998

Reply letter from John Donovan to Mark Moody-Stuart: 14 April 1998

“Yet you are not prepared for the same information to be supplied, even on a confidential basis, to the people who actually own the company – your shareholders. Your decision to keep company members in the dark speaks absolute volumes. So much for the core principle of “openness”. When it comes to the crunch, covering-up a catalogue of misdeeds by Shell managers, despite incontrovertible evidence of flagrant breaches of the principles of honesty and integrity, apparently takes priority.”

Link to “Unloveable Shell, the goddess of oil” Guardian article mentioned in the correspondence (takes time to load but well worth the wait)

Extract from response letter sent to The Guardian by Mark Moody-Stuart

UNDERCOVER ACTIVITY AGAINST THE DONOVAN’S IN THE PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF DEFENCE CASE

A number of sinister characters suddenly came on the scene in a short period of time, including an American gentleman who arrived from overseas and tracked down and interviewed our key witnesses, falsely claiming to be a journalist for The European newspaper. Another undercover agent under the name of Christopher Phillips had been caught red-handed illegally opening private mail at our offices. The homes of our solicitor, a key witness and our own home were all burglarised in the run up to the Smart Trial and related documents examined. Shell denied any association with the burglaries and the intimidation of our witnesses.

Copies of a selection of relevant self-explanatory correspondence published below.

Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors, DJ Freeman: 16 June 1998

John Donovan letter to Richard Wiseman: 23 June 1998

Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 24 June 1998

Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 1 July 1998

Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 3 July 1998

If, nevertheless, the police wish to obtain any further information from my clients or from anyone involved in enquiries on their behalf, including Mr Phillips, then, as has been said on several previous occasions, the fullest of co-operation will be given.

Letter from Richard Wiseman to John Donovan: 9 July 1998

The activities of Mr Phillips have, of course, been admitted.

John Donovan letter to Office for Supervising of Solicitors: 10 July 1998

Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 11 August 1998(confirms internal investigation by Shell)

Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 26 October 1998 (Confirms an internal investigation by Shell)

AS A SEPARATE ARTICLE

DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION: Richard Wiseman article in OPDirect Magazine: November 1998

FUEL FOR THOUGHT

DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION

There has recently been some publicity surrounding a writ issued against Shell UK by Mr John Donovan, director of a company called Don Marketing, who claims that his company invented the SMART loyalty programme and that he or his company should be compensated for its use. Shell UK is strongly defending the claim, having carefully investigated and discussed it with Mr Donovan and his solicitors. Mr Donovan has been making a number of unpleasant allegations in public and in the press, and has been handing out leaflets to staff. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Don Marketing Website Archival Information

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COPY OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON Don-Marketing.com and “Images File” webpage

An article published by Prospect Magazine in February 2007 authored by Derek Brower, senior correspondent of Petroleum Economist, provides an overall background to the disputes between Royal Dutch Shell and Alfred Donovan and his son, John.

Rise of the gripe site: How two men and a website humbled one of the oil industry giants

Picture of John Chambers and John Donovan

John Donovan (right) and John Chambers
at Don Marketing Hornchurch offices in 1984
 
For more photos see Don Marketing Photo File donmarketingphotofile.html

Don Marketing was founded by Alfred Donovan, Bob Donovan, John Donovan and their fondly remembered friend and business partner, chartered accountant, Don Redhead (deceased). Alfred, Bob and John are all retired from commercial activity. John Chambers was managing director during the most successful years of Don Marketing which, following a series of court actions with Shell, ceased trading some years ago. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com