eBay’s battle to fend off Carl Icahn is benefitting other tech firms, from Twitter to Google. Aside from the fodder the proxy battleprovides tech reporters (CNBC has been on a roll with its coverage), there are now “dualing hashtags” on Twitter, where both sides go to spread their messages.
eBay’s Public Relations department was early in putting together a slogan “eBay plus PayPal equals Better Together,” and it created a special website where it makes its case for why the eBay Board of Directors believe eBay should not spin off PayPal. On Twitter, eBay has posted, @PayPal and @eBay are #bettertogether.
Carl Icahn has fought back, tweeting using the hashtags #spinpaypalnow and #notworldclass, the latter a pointed reference to eBay’s board members, which eBay called world class after Icahn criticized them.
The media war is now moving to paid ads. eBay revealed that on Wednesday, it paid for ads “on various search engines.” (EcommerceBytes could find the ad displaying on searches for “eBay better together PayPal” on Google, though not on Bing.)
eBay Inc. Better Together – bettertogether.ebayinc.com
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eBay CEO John Donahoe has sent various communications to employees asking them not to let the proxy battle distract them. But with its media blitz to get its point across that it is right in keeping eBay and PayPal together, along with Icahn’s frequent media interviews, it may be difficult for employees to ignore the war of words now spilling over onto search engines and social networking platforms.