EBay has a new media agency. Following a review that began earlier this summer, the San Jose, California-based retailer is consolidating its media buying with MediaCom. The changes are a result of a global reorganization earlier this year in which regional markets now report to a single global team led by Jay Lee, senior VP-general manager, markets.
“EBay’s regional marketing teams are working together more closely than ever, and consolidating our media business will help us operate more quickly and efficiently as a global organization,” a spokesman said in a statement, noting MediaCom’s “long history” with eBay.
EBay had been working with incumbent Publicis Media’s Blue 449 since 2016, when the agency that last year merged with Spark Foundry won buying and planning duties for the company’s U.S. market from incumbent WPP’s MediaCom; but MediaCom still had been handling certain markets including Europe and Australia. MediaCom was first tapped by eBay to handle planning and buying duties for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in May 2014 and then in July of that year was awarded its full global media account.
The RFP was only issued to agencies that were already working with eBay. People close to the matter said WPP’s GroupM and Blue 449 had both pitched to defend. Blue 449 deferred comment to the client.
“We’re in the business of driving growth for our clients, said Stephen Allan, worldwide chairman and CEO of MediaCom, in a statement. He noted the “scale and ambition of eBay” and the retailer’s focus “on long-term growth” and motivation “by creative ideas.”
EBay is also actively evaluating its needs on the creative side, a spokesman confirms, though the company has not made any decisions.
The company has been working to distinguish itself from competitors, primarily Amazon. Late last week, eBay began running a snarky video promoting its sales during Amazon Prime Day. The spot included a sardonic, real-life teenager named Alexa and alluded to the website glitches that its rival had experienced in 2018. The video was produced for eBay by Edelman.
Some of the recent work seems to be paying off. On Wednesday, eBay exceeded analyst expectations by reporting second-quarter revenue of $2.7 billion, a 2 percent rise over the year-earlier period. On a call with analysts, CEO Devin Wenig spoke about “reducing and redeploying” marketing dollars that have little return on investment. He noted that eBay is moving away from Google and search channels into more social channels. “One of the best attributes of our business is it’s a very strong mix of direct traffic compared to paid traffic,” he said. “We’ll keep advertising the brand, keep working the other channels.”