Match.com plans shopping night in Ann Summers

LONDON - Online dating service Match.com is holding a shopping night in Ann Summers as it plans to put more focus on in-house communications and co-branded events.

The move follows a rejig of Match.com's PR efforts, which sees firm part company with UK agency Big-mouths PR.

Match.com has appointed Mental Communications to its UK media relations account, but a greater proportion of its six-figure PR budget will be spent on events such as the Match.com shopping night in Ann Summers' Brighton store on 17 June.

Lisa Hulme, co-founder of Big-mouths, which helped launch Match.com in 2001, said: "Match.com asked us how we could maintain the high level of media coverage achieved over the past years on the restructured budget, but we felt it was not feasible, so we had no option but to walk away."

Match.com director of international PR Nigel Sharman insisted, however, that "PR budgets are not being cut anywhere in Match.com. We are increasing PR and promotions budgets by the hire of six new people internationally and by expanding our investment into events and co-branded promotions."

Mental, led by founder and former Mantra PR consultant Edward Waldron-Davies, is on a retainer, but Sharman said that in other markets, Match.com will look to work either internally or with external agencies on a project basis, concentrating on key periods such as Valentine's Day.

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