Arun Sudhaman 15 Jan 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
SAN JOSE--PayPal has kicked off a review of its $5m North American PR business, with seven firms expected to contend for a brief that seeks to strengthen the e-commerce giant's consumer positioning.
The company, which is owned by eBay, is understood to have issued an RFP to a handful of agencies regarding its requirements in the US and Canada. PayPal has worked with Access Communications in North America for several years, but the agency has declined to repitch for the business.
PayPal, which works with Edelman, Grayling and Text 100 in international markets, is also expected to review its social media and global PR arrangements in due course.
It is thought that PayPal invited all of its roster firms to participate in the process along with other agencies, before shortlisting the pitch down to seven contenders. A decision is expected by mid-February.
The review follows the recent arrival at eBay of new communications chief Christina Smedley, former global consumer head at Edelman, who confirmed that the review is underway. The company is also currently seeking an EMEA senior director of communications.
The world’s biggest online payments player, PayPal is aiming to boost its presence as an everyday consumer brand, according to sources involved in the review.
In recent months, the company has broadened its reach to the offline market, tying up with 23 US retailers that now allow in-store payments using a PayPal card or PIN code. The move gives PayPal customers access to 18,000 US stores and is viewed as part of its strategy to attract users from credit card companies and mobile wallet payment devices.
In addition, it has launched an iPhone app in conjunction with Jamba Juice.
PayPal has demonstrated strong financial growth over the past year, improving revenues by 23 percent in the third-quarter of 2012 and reporting 117.4m active accounts. PayPal accounts for around 40 percent of eBay’s earnings, with 2011 revenue totalling $4.4bn.