Global energy titan Shell Oil plans a beauty pageant for its estimated $100 million below-the-line business when its contract with Omnicom’s Tequila expires at the end of this year.

The two parties had clearly decided to present an orchestrated front of sweetness and light, although this is unlikely to seep through to the coalface at Tequila where the loss of $100m – give or take – will create more than a few empty desks.

In joint statement, the divorcees said the parting of ways was mutual and “mainly motivated by Shell's desire to achieve greater below-the-line consistency with its branding and creative business”, handled by J Walter Thompson.

Eulogized Shell’s vp global brands and communications Raoul Pinnell: “Shell has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Tequila for many years. Throughout this time they have demonstrated a commitment and determination to build value into our business. This was a very tough but very amicable decision and comes at an appropriate time for both organizations.”

Harmonizing from the same hymnsheet Tequila’s international president Tom Wass promised co-operation during the transition to another shop: “Although we have had a global exclusivity agreement with Shell, only a handful of our thirty-six offices worldwide have been engaged on the business.

“We feel this restriction is not commercially sensible as it prevents us from pursuing opportunities in both the broader energy market and in many territories where we have not been deployed by Shell. Additionally Shell's strategy for 2003 has changed which will result in even less work for our network.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff