01 May 1998

SALES PROMOTION consultant John Donovan of Don Marketing has issued a writ against Shell UK alleging breach of his claimed intellectual ownership of the multi-partner ShellSmart loyalty card concept. Launched nationally in April, the card has a built-in microchip enabling users to accrue and redeem points not only from Shell forecourts but also with other major retail and service companies. Donovan has a history of litigation against Shell for alleged theft of intellectual property - specifically its 1994 Now Showing promo and a Nintendo promotion in 1993 - the latter case being settled out of court for a substantial but unstated sum. Donovan, who evolved Shell's legendary 'Make Money' promo back in 1984 [still the benchmark by which the success of forecourt promotions is measured], is publicising his present grievances on two pungent Websites [ and]. He seeks 'multi-million pound damages' for alleged breach of confidence, breach of contract and, in a separate action, libel.