Groupon readies to recruit agency for UK brief

Daily deals site Groupon is on the hunt for an agency to handle a UK account.

Groupon: 36.5 million worldwide users
Groupon: 36.5 million worldwide users

The company has met with a shortlist of agencies to discuss an integrated brief covering business-to-business, consumer, corporate and issues management comms.

Groupon confirmed the process although declined to add further details.

The move to call in PR help comes after the company slashed its marketing spend by nearly 50 per cent.

Currently the site does not retain a UK PR agency, but it used Brunswick for its IPO last year, which was the largest IPO since Google's in 2004. Brunswick was hired to carry out corporate reputation management and financial PR for Groupon in April 2011. It has been reported that Facebook also called in Brunswick to handle the strategic comms around its recent IPO.

The voucher company, still in its first year on the stockmarket, has narrowed its net losses by 96 per cent to £2.2m for the three months ended 31 March 2012. It has put its growth down to technology innovations, improved consumer and merchant satisfaction and growth in the use of its site on mobile devices.

Groupon user numbers now stand at 36.5 million worldwide and reports suggest the company is looking to trial its own mobile payments system to take on eBay’s PayPal and startup Square, partly owned by Visa.

In April, Emma Coleman was appointed as Groupon’s UK PR manager. She is responsible for driving campaigns with the aim of increasing awareness of Groupon’s brand through merchant and consumer-specific activities. She will also manage the Groupon press office. She moved to Groupon from Bite Communications.

The site has recently been under investigation by the OFT over concerns about its ‘pricing, advertising, refunds and unfair terms, and the diligence of its interactions with merchants’. As a result, Groupon agreed to make the prices in its adverts more accurate and honest, and make details on limitations on availability clearer.

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