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eBay Buys Ads in Effort to Fend Off Carl Icahn

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
(AD) bettertogether.ebayinc.com
Real facts about eBay-PayPal Get latest on eBay Inc. Proxy

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.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.