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eBay splits with PHD as it shifts focus to digital

eBay is planning to move its promotional spend into digital and other below--the-line channels from February, prompting the brand to split with its media planning and buying agency PHD.

The auction site has been running a TV campaign since September - the first work created by Albion since the agency won the account in July.

The first burst of the activity, which has retained the animated eBay logo characters created by DLKW, the site's first ad agency, used real-time auction listings with a live feed direct from the eBay website.

However, it is understood that from February, eBay will abandon TV and all above-the-line media. It will therefore no longer need a retained media agency. Digital media is handled in-house at eBay.

Last month, eBay launch-ed a competition offering purchasers on the site the chance to have his or her own digital character featured in an ad alongside the existing red, blue and yellow animated icons. The one-off TV ad is due to run at some point next year.

In the 12 months to the second quarter of 2007, eBay spent £12.5m on media, according to Nielsen Media Research, the majority of which was allocated to TV advertising.

eBay posted a $936m (£459m) loss for the third quarter of this year, despite record revenues of $1.89bn (£0.92bn) for the period - a 30% rise on the same period last year.

The loss was eBay's first since 1999 and followed the admission that it had overpaid for Skype, the telecommunications firm it acquired for $2.6bn in 2005.

No one at eBay was available for comment.

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