eBay hunts shop to give Motors site mass appeal

eBay is to refresh the UK PR strategy behind eBay Motors, its automotive sales arm, and is locked in agency talks over a fresh promotional assault to encourage greater consumer awareness of the site.

The internet auction giant is likely to hire a more generalist agency than the incumbent shop, motoring specialist Waterson Communications, which will be replaced after almost two years on the business.

Victoria Biggs, nee Sayers, eBay UK and Ireland head of PR, said Waterson would continue to work for eBay Motors - which ranges from rust-buckets to gleaming high-end marques - until the end of July.

She described an 'amicable parting of ways' with the West Sussex outfit, hired in 2003 (PRWeek, 10 October 2003), adding that she hoped the new agency would start in August.

Explaining the review, Biggs said: 'We think people are very aware of eBay but not of eBay Motors - it's an awareness job.'

It is understood that eBay is to shortlist around five shops, and that the hired agency will secure an initial six-month contract.

eBay Motors made global headlines in May with news that a VW Golf that used to belong to the new Pope, Benedict XVI, had been sold on the site by a German student to a US buyer for around £128,000.

The review does not affect Fishburn Hedges' consumer PR subsidiary Seventy Seven's grip on the bulk of eBay's UK comms, including its work for eBay's secure payment system PayPal. Seventy Seven is not pitching for the Motors business.

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