Agencies will be jockeying for position in early 2005 as Anglo-Dutch energy titan Shell Oil looks to consolidate its $193 million (£100m, €145m) global media account.
The business is currently split between MediaCom in Europe, Maxus in Asia, Initiative, Mindshare and JWT in the US and StarcomMediaVest.
Whichever global network grabs the account, it can expect the budget to increase significantly in the coming years. The new agency will be in situ by July.
Says Raoul Pinnell, chairman of Shell Brands International: "It is standard practice for Shell to review its agency alignment on a regular basis. Recent changes in the way we organise our businesses also make this a good opportunity to ensure we are getting the best added value and efficiencies in our media activities."
The group was hit by crisis in January when it admitted that more than 20% of its reserves should not have been claimed because they were inconsistent with rules of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
This prompted an internal review leading to the exit of Shell's chairman Sir Philip Watts. Exploration head Walter van de Vijver also walked the platinum plank, and legal action by shareholders is still pending.
Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff