Tech specialist Bite won a seven-way pitch against agencies including Lewis and Chameleon.
The US-based site’s international director Liz O’Donnell did not deny that competition from Facebook was a motivating factor for Bite’s appointment. ‘We didn’t have any PR in the UK before,’ she said. ‘Some of it had to do with competition, and some was just raising our brand’s profile.’
O’Donnell was in London this week, meeting with Bite MD David Hargreaves and planning director Nick Rappolt to decide on a direction for the new campaign.
LinkedIn’s decision to hire PR support follows MySpace’s recent appointment of Lexis as its retained agency (PRWeek, 24 August). Lexis consumer director Matt Buchanan, who leads the MySpace account, welcomed the challenge from Facebook.
‘I think MySpace is aware of Facebook’s London presence, and looks forward to the competition,’ he said.
MySpace attracts more website hits than Facebook or LinkedIn, but this may soon change. In July, Facebook overtook MySpace in the number of web searches of its name, according to internet analyst Hitwise.