Shell Make Merry

CHAPTER 1: John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare

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The name of my Amazon Kindle book – “John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare” is not an ego-driven title dreamt up by me, but the headline of an article by an award-winning newspaper journalist, Christoph Giesen published across the EU in ten languages.

A broadsheet German daily newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung published a major article about me on 20 March 2012 under the headline “Konzernfeind No. 1.”

The article by Christoph Giesen told the story of my epic feud with the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, a former client of the multinational company I co-founded, Don Marketing.

Over a decade of spectacular mutual success followed by two decades of hostilities, including sinister episodes of cloak and dagger activity by Shell against my father and me.

The English translation of the above newspaper headline: Shell’s enemy No.1

It was republished on 27 March 2012 by the European Journal/VOXeurope in ten languages under the headline: “John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare.

A related TV documentary feature filmed in the UK and Russia was subsequently broadcast across Europe by Deutsche Welle (DW) the leading German TV international public broadcasting channel. It included an interview with former Russian Deputy Minister of the Environment, Oleg Mitvol, named in a Guardian newspaper article as a “Kremlin attack dog.” Film footage of President Putin appears in the feature. 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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Some Don Marketing Games from the 1980s

COPY OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON Don-Marketing.com and “Images File” webpage (with more images added in 2020)

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

Don Marketing Promotional Posters Online Archive

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A small sampling of the thousands of retailers and major global brands that were all clients of the worlds No1 Promotional Games company, Don Marketing.

Whitbread Scoop the Pools promotion.

Approx size: 21 x 30 cm portrait 

Don Marketing co-founder John Donovan photographed in October 2020 with a Whitbread “SCOOP THE POOLS” poster.

Nabisco Shredded Wheat Space Invaders Promotion.

Approx size: 22 x 30 cm portrait.

Don Marketing co-founder John Donovan photographed in October 2020 with a Nabisco Shredded Wheat Space Invaders poster. 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 Roll Call of Promotional Games

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Two decades before co-founding Don Marketing, John Donovan was in the petrol retailing business with his father Alfred Donovan operating a chain of petrol stations and garages in East London and Essex. Their main garage, known initially as East & Donovan and later as A & J Donovan, held  Standard-Triumph and Leyland light commercial franchises.

In 1967, Alfred and John Donovan founded Jackpot Promotions, which launched a Freeline Football petrol sales promotion at garages throughout the UK, including Fina, Cleveland, Amoco and independent petrol stations. The computer-printed football coupons – examples below – were printed by Thomas De La Rue. Each contained a different pre-paid entry on Zetters Pools.  

Freeline Football used Australian football teams in the summer season. 

In 1979, Alfred and John co-founded Don Marketing with Bob Donovan and Don Redhead and launched a modified Freeline Football promotion on “no purchase necessary” basis.

DON MARKETING PROMOTIONAL GAMES FROM 1979 ONWARDS.

(Left to right) Roger Sotherton (Managing Director), John Donovan (Chairman) and Ken Brown (Operations Director).

Some Don Marketing staff including Steven Donovan and Lisa, smiling.

DON MARKETING OCCUPIED THE ENTIRE TOP FLOOR OF CRITERION HOUSE IN CHELMSFORD. 

The Game pieces displayed below are not actual size.

GAMES FOR SHELL

SHELL MAKE MONEY GAME 1984 FOR SHELL UK

Don Marketing supplied the Make Money game on an international basis for Shell, including Shell Singapore – poster immediately below.

RELATED LINKS

Fast flowing Don: Marketing Magazine 16 February 1984

Shell Make Money full page advert: Daily Express 21 February 1984

Shell Make Money full page advert: Evening Standard 21 February 1984

Shell is back making money: Incentive Marketing and Sales Promotion March 1984

London Evening Standard article “the old lady with the right-hand halves” about the “spectacularly” successful Shell Make Money game: 1984

Anatomy of a Shell winner: Campaign Magazine 27 April 1984 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

Shell Make Merry Harrods linked promotional game created and supplied by Don Marketing

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In the Autumn of 1984, Don Marketing devised a Make Merry” scratch card game linked to Harrods, with the idea that Shell would give away on their forecourts millions of Harrods food prizes. Before we disclosed the concept to Shell, we discussed initial arrangements with Harrods for the design of the card and the supply of Harrods food product prizes. The concept was enthusiastically accepted by Shell. We negotiated the purchase of over £2 million pounds worth of goods from Harrods on behalf of Shell, including 6 million mince pies and £10,000 Harrods Shopping Spree prizes. The promotion was launched in the last quarter of 1984 and featured in a Channel News TV report. 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