Public Affairs: eBay brings in BP-PA for public affairs account

eBay has awarded its first PA account to Bell Pottinger Public Affairs following a competitive pitch.

The appointment comes as the online auction company aims to ensure compliance with the DTI's distance selling and e-commerce regulations. They entail providing consumers with clear information, a right to refund of goods and protection from credit card fraud.

The pitch was overseen by UK public affairs manager Alison Scowen, who joined from Direct Line in the spring. 'We have appointed BP-PA subject to contract,' she confirmed.

BP-PA director Tim Walker leads the account. LLM Communications has worked for eBay on a project basis in the past year.

eBay has been the subject of negative media coverage focusing on the growing trend of sellers on the site to set up false email accounts and bidding up the price of their own goods with fictitious offers.

The site has attracted swathes of media coverage in recent days over revelations that the Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair is a regular user of eBay.

The company has yet to appoint an agency to its consumer PR account, which is currently under review.

Four-year incumbent Joe Public Relations pulled out of the contest at the start of the month.

eBay head of UK PR Victoria Sayers, a former Freud Communications board director, is overseeing the consumer review.

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