By Arun Sudhaman

DUBLIN: Influential review website Yelp has brought in agency support as it gears up for further expansion in Europe.

The US-based website has chosen Dublin’s Hopscotch Europe In One, the international arm of French firm Hopscotch, to handle its pan-European PR efforts, which currently include the UK, France, Germany, Ireland and Austria.

Hopscotch will focus on specifically building awareness of Yelp’s dedicated country websites. Globally Yelp attracts more than 38 million monthly visitors and hosts over 14 million reviews of local businesses worldwide.

Created in San Francisco in July 2004, Yelp is a website that combines social networking, user review and local search to rate and connect people with local businesses. In the US, the site has faced criticism over the fairness of negative reviews, with a lawsuit earlier this year accusing Yelp of extortion. In response to these issues, Yelp now shows which reviews are filtered by its spam algorithm.

“Yelp’s presence in Europe is increasing day after day,” said Yelp senior PR manager Chantelle Karl. “People hear about us in various countries and languages and are curious to see what our users have to say about their local favorite places or new
shops and services.”

Hopscotch Europe In One will utilise its multi-cultural, multi-language model – hubbed out of Dublin – to service the account. “Our centralised model and extensive knowledge of Yelp’s targeted European markets will help us strengthen their brand and positioning throughout the continent,” said MD Patrick Frison-Roche.