Ebay, the online auction site, is searching for a UK advertising agency to handle its estimated £3m account. It is understood the decision is part of a drive to attract new customers.
The site does not have a local creative agency, but uses media agency MediaCom in the UK. It has contacted up to 12 agencies and is planning to make an appointment by the end of March next year.
It will be the first time that Ebay has used offline advertising in the UK, and is likely to include a television campaign. The site has already used offline advertising in the US and Germany. Its US advertising is handled by San Francisco-based agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Ebay is keen to develop as a global brand. It is already available in about 22 countries and the site is being developed through acquisitions and joint ventures.
Last July, Ebay appointed former Unilever interactive marketing chief Simon Darling as group marketing director. He replaced commercial director Linda Campbell, who has gone on a two-year leave of absence to study for an MBA.
Ebay launched in September 1998 and has 62 million registered users across the world, 6.8 million of whom are in the UK. It has 18,000 different merchandise categories and is known to be keen to develop into new areas and services.