Shell Flacks Have Got No Rhythm

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

Shell Flacks Have Got No Rhythm

A fascinating read from Bloomberg News:

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has one word to offer on the subject of its musical oil barrels.

“What?” says Shell spokeswoman Alexandra Wright in London.

The World Cup is about to change Shell’s tune.

“Oil drum music is infectious,” says Sepp Blatter, the president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s global governing body and organizer of the 2006 World Cup in Germany in June…

More than a few thousand of those World Cup drummers will probably be beating Shell oil barrels…

And therein lies the corporate dilemma of Gerard Mitchell, country head of Shell Trinidad Ltd.

“It’s officially against corporate policy for us to hand out oil barrels,” the 37-year-old Mitchell frets. “We really don’t know what to do about all this.”…

A Shell executive in 1946 made history’s first steel drum from an empty barrel of tractor lubricant bearing the company’s distinctive clamshell insignia.

According to American jazz musician Andy Narrell, Shell oil-barrel pans made between 1946 and 1967 are as renowned and desirable as the Cremonese violins of Antonio Stradivari, Nicolo Amati and Giuseppe Guarneri. Even the barrels made today are in high demand among pan players…

Unfortunately, says a Shell spokesperson:

“Let me state for the record that our used drums are disposed of properly and that Shell health and safety regulations prevent the use of empty drums for anything but Shell oil products.”

Those environmental regulations … what a killjoy.

Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t Shell make a separate version of its barrels expressly for the drummers? (That’s why we’re in PR, folks — brains!)

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One thought on “Shell Flacks Have Got No Rhythm

  1. Paddy Briggs

    Oil drums can be cleaned and reused safely. It’s been happening for 100 years or more. Shell could help by saying how you do this rather than what they have said which is patently untrue.