Facebook chooses Bite after three-way battle

Bite Communications will aid Facebook’s ambitious growth plans, after bagging what is arguably the most sought-after retainer of the year.

Hargreaves: Bite MD
Hargreaves: Bite MD

As revealed on prweek.com on Tuesday, the social media phenomenon Facebook has selected Bite to handle its PR in the UK, following a three-way shoot-out involving relative unknowns Chameleon and Octopus.

Facebook’s global director of corporate comms Brandee Barker confirmed the appointment, adding that Bite was chosen for its ‘strategic approach to the European markets’.

The brief is thought to be worth six figures. It will include consumer and corporate work to back Facebook’s growth in the UK and Europe. The agency will throw its weight behind Facebook’s quest to challenge MySpace’s dominance in Europe.

Next Fifteen-owned Bite also works with business networking site LinkedIn (PRWeek, 5 September). Agency MD David Hargreaves insisted that Facebook is ‘completely comfortable’ with the agency working on both these accounts. ‘They operate in a different space,’ he said.

Tech PR insiders agreed this was one of the most competitive pitches in recent memory. Facebook asked 12 agencies including Mantra and Fishburn Hed­ges to present their credentials (PRWeek, 5 September) bef­ore shortlisting Bite, Chameleon and Octopus.

Facebook launched in 2004 and has since enjoyed a meteoric rise in its profile. It is now thought to be worth in excess of $10bn, and is widely rumoured to be considering an IPO. London has emerged as the Facebook capital of the world, with more active members than any other city.  

Bite is expected to start on the Facebook account in the next few weeks. Its sister Next Fifteen agency, OutCast, started work as Facebook’s retained US agency last month (PRWeek US, 14 September 2007).

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