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Say it Ain's So ExMo
ConocoPhillips Increases Price
Old World Moves Price up Too
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JOBBERSWORLD...MARKET INTELLIGENCE FOR INTELLIGENT MARKETERS

The First and Only Independent Newsletter to Focus on Lubricant Distributors.

Your needs, your concerns, your outlook. No bias, no fluff and no punches pulled. Whether it's buy backs or brand battles, allocation of co-op ads, operating costs or turf wars, Jobbers World keeps you on top of the issues that matter to YOU: The Lubricant Marketers!


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Say it Ain't So, ExMo

Two and a half years later, ExxonMobil's competitors are still saying their premium synthetic motor oils provide substantially better wear protection than the industry's leading synthetic oil, Mobil 1 5W-30.  Is it true?

 

Castrol TV AdIt's hard to turn on the television today to watch the news or a sports event and not see Castrol's advertisement saying Castrol Edge 5W-30 oil has "8X better wear protection" than the industry's leading synthetic oil, Mobil 1 5W-30. Even if you never change oil yourself or know what oil fast lubes put in your engine, this ad has got to get your attention. The reason it does is because, rather than the usual marketing puff about performance or humorous bits about your dipstick, Castrol's ad takes a direct shot at ExxonMobil's Mobil 1 by clearly and boldly stating their oil has "8X better wear protection" than ExxonMobil's flagship product.

 

When JobbersWorld first reported on Valvoline making their "4X better wear protection than Mobil 1" claim in our July 24th, 2008 issue, we received many calls and emails from readers. Most of them said Valvoline must be crazy to pick a fight with ExxonMobil (ExMo), and better have a bevy of lawyers on retainer to defend themselves when the biggest tiger in the jungle comes at them for false advertizing if the statement is untrue. Others said, you can be sure Valvoline must have some very solid data on hand to make such a claim, and they are prepared to prove it if challenged in court.

 

Well ExMo did respond to Valvoline's claim. They posted a statement on the Mobil 1 website, saying ExxonMobil is aware of Valvoline's advertising claims that Valvoline SynPower offers four times better wear protection than Mobil 1. But they added, they are "not aware of any accurate technical data to support the claim".  Moreover, they requested Valvoline to provide the "substantiating data to support this claim immediately."  Whereas many thought this was the beginning of the end for Valvoline's advertizing claim, it turned out to be just the start of even more. Some time after Valvoline first made its claim, out comes Castrol with an advertising campaign saying Castrol Edge 5W-30 has "8X" better wear protection" than Mobil 1 5W-30!

 

Sure, oil companies sometimes may go a bit over the top in their frenzy to gain market share, but two major oil companies making the same type of claim?  Many expected Castrol's challenge would draw ExMo out of their self imposed silence, if the statement were untrue. After all, oil companies have a long history of litigation regarding each other's motor oil claims, either in court or with the Better Business Bureau. Witness the landmark case about ten years ago when Mobil challenged Castrol's claim that their Group III based Syntec was not a true synthetic oil.  Castrol won that ruling, revolutionizing the synthetic motor oil market. And prior to that, Castrol sued Pennzoil for false advertizing claims, causing Pennzoil to drop their campaign.

 

So with oil companies willing to do legal battle over advertizing claims, why has ExxonMobil chosen to lay low on this one for so long, especially in light of Castrol's recently renewed media blitz taking on Mobil 1?  Could it be there is a basis for these claims, and Valvoline proved it after ExMo publicly requested Valvoline to provide the "substantiating data to support this claim immediately." 


So are these claims true? If not, say it ain't so, ExMo, because JobbersWorld is hearing some of your biggest fans saying they want to know the truth.

   

Castrol's  8X Ads:

ESPN Promo Castrol

Grease Monkeys - Super Bowl 2009

Think With Your Dipstick 

Castrol Website

 

Related stories:

JobbersWorld Feb. 1 2009

JobbersWorld March 20, 2009

JobbersWorld Dec 13, 2008 (Valvoline's letter)

JobbersWorld Dec 11, 2008

JobbersWorld July, 24, 2008

Shell

 

Blogs speak out on the issue:

Corvette Action Center

Corvette Forum

Tractorbynet.comViper Club of America

F150Online

Maxima.org

JeepCommander.com

Bobistheoilguy.com

CWSCC.com

ClubLexus Forum

ConocoPhillips Announces Price Increase and Freight Adjustments

Effective February 1, 2011, ConocoPhillips Lubricants announced it will raise prices for its finished lubricants by 5 - 8%. They say the actual increase will be provided the week of January 4, 2011. Further, marketers are told, in certain circumstances, prices for specific products may change in amounts that fall outside of this general increase. ConocoPhillips said this price increase is necessary due to the recent increases in base oil, additives and packaging costs. 

In addition to announcing a price increase, ConocoPhillips advised its marketers that effective February 1, 2011, it will increase the fuel surcharge nationally for bulk and packaged truck orders that COP arranges on a prepaid destination basis. Marketers were told the freight adjustment will not affect any collect or customer pick-up orders. 

Old World Lubricant (PEAK) Increases $0.40 a gallon

 

Old World Industries announced it will increase prices on all its finished lubricants by $0.40 a gallon. This increase is effective January 3, 2011. As with the price increases announced by others, Old World says the increase is due to increases in the cost of raw material.


For those unfamiliar with Old World Industries, Old World manufacturers the well known PEAK brand of antifreeze and washer fluid. In 2007, the company capitalized on the brand recognition they enjoyed in the automotive segment, by introducing the PEAK line of motor oils and lubricants. These lubricants were positioned on introduction to fill what Old World says was a "void for a top-quality, national, value-priced brand."


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