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JOHN HOGG TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS

John Hogg is a market leader in fuel marking technology and solvent dye manufacturing – working with governments and the petroleum, lubricant and speciality chemical industries to distinguish brands, safeguard product quality, reduce fuel fraud, drive compliance and boost tax revenues in over 70 countries.

A major, Europe-wide change in regulations for marking fuel needed a communications campaign to inform and educate the B2B fuel distribution market and demonstrate John Hogg’s knowledge and expertise in the field.

OBJECTIVES

  • To be the leading voice informing and educating the market about the imminent change to the Euromarker regulations (the EU-mandated use of fuel marker to prevent tax evasion on fuels with a lower tax rate).
  • To reinforce the visibility and credibility of John Hogg as the industry thought leader.

COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

Metamorphic PR devised a two-stage media approach, incorporating a news story and an in-depth, advisory article closely targeted to the key audience of UK fuel distributors ahead of the regulatory deadline in the EU and – subsequently – the UK.

COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITY

News story: “Fuel distributors to prepare for possible fuel marker change”

Though the revised EU regulations for a new fuel marker were announced two years prior to the January 2024 deadline date, the UK approach – governed by HMRC and likely to be affected by the Windsor Framework for Northern Ireland – was still awaiting confirmation in late 2023.

John Hogg – already supporting fuel distribution companies in the EU to switch to the new fuel marking regime – was able (with the permission of HMRC) to inform the UK market of a potential change to the marking system while highlighting its ability to support companies with the change. Therefore, the news story, which featured in key industry publications including Fuel Oil News:

  • Highlighted the imminent Euromarker change.
  • Signalled an upcoming announcement from HMRC to confirm the UK’s position.
  • Emphasised the operational actions needed to companies to be ready for any change.
  • Summarised the services and products available from John Hogg to help this process.
  • Showcased the support John Hogg had provided already to help EU companies comply ahead of the deadline.

Advisory feature article: “A changing of the guard in the UK fuel marking regime”

While HMRC formulated its policy and scheduled an announcement for the UK’s updated fuel marking regulations, Metamorphic PR worked with John Hogg to create the framework for an in-depth, advisory article. This needed a fast turnaround for factual accuracy once new UK legislation was finalised and HMRC made it public.

The final article – published exclusively in Fuel Oil News – provided a definitive guide to UK businesses marking fuel for rebate and suppliers of rebated fuel, which included:

  • Explanation about the new fuel marker.
  • Technical guidance for the range of fuel marker types and quantities required for compliance.
  • The key deadline dates for companies to begin transitioning systems and to comply with the new regulations.
  • Implementation advice.
  • Insight into John Hogg’s experience with EU companies and country regulators.
  • Information about the new John Hogg product range designed to meet the new regulations.

RESULTS

  • Significant traffic to the website (more than 50 users/month – significant for a niche topic) from searches relating to Accutrace Plus (the new Euromarker chemical).
  • Both articles created by Metamorphic PR in conjunction with John Hogg were the top two viewed pages on the company’s website from September-January.
  • Positive market response to both articles, resulting in a number of enquiries for the new products from members of the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA)
  • Successful implementation of new products by all customers before the deadline, ensuring compliance with the new law.

James Page, Marketing Manager, John Hogg:

“One customer, seeing the extent of our PR activity about the Euromarker, asked if we had acquired our main competitor as they had been silent on the subject. The communications campaign helped to reiterate our position as the market leader for these products and the experts that are here to help.

“We successfully helped the market to implement the new marker products by the January deadline, which was a significant challenge considering the short notice of the change. This wouldn’t have been possible without this campaign and the engagement that it generated with the UK market.”

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