EBay UK consumer account up for grabs

EBay and Shine Communications are splitting, with the online retail giant reviewing its six-figure UK consumer PR account.

LONDON: EBay and Shine Communications are splitting, with the online retail giant reviewing its six-figure UK consumer PR account.

The company is understood to be holding a series of chemistry meetings with agencies; Shine has declined to take part in the process.

Details emerged shortly after the US-headquartered e-commerce giant reported growing profits, with its fourth-quarter 2013 net income of $850 million up 13% from $751 million the previous year.

Over the course of Shine's tenure on the account, eBay has made a long transition from being seen as an auction site for second-hand goods to a retail powerhouse across a broad range of brands.   

One source with insight into the process said this will likely be a key part of the communications strategy for the new agency.

“The business model is shifting to be much more focused on its ‘buy it now' proposition,” the source said. “It has done an awful lot of work on this and is continuing to try to build strong links with the high street.”

Recent moves in this area have included a partnership with Argos last year in a six-month trial that allowed consumers to buy goods from selected eBay sellers and pick them up at Argos stores.

“They have been a great client and a defining piece of business for the agency over the past seven years, and we wish them all the best going forward,” said Shine CEO and founder Rachel Bell. “They asked us to re-pitch, but we sensed they were ready to make a change, so we wish them all the best.”

Shine's work has included managing eBay's sponsorship of the British Fashion Council's Fashion Forward initiative and creating last month's “shoppable pantomime,” where an audience was given Christmas gift ideas through a staging of Cinderella.

EBay declined to comment. 

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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