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UDate selects PR firm ahead of major marketing push

LONDON - UDate, the UK's most profitable internet company, has hired the tech PR agency Gnash Communications to promote its online dating service ahead of a big marketing drive next year.

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The agency won the work after a competitive pitch against two unnamed agencies. Incumbent Hill & Knowlton did not pitch for the account, but will continue to work on UDate in the US.

UDate has 11m members worldwide, with 225,000 active subscribers, and is benefiting from the increased willingness of singletons to turn to the internet in an effort to find a partner. The company reported net profit of $2m (£1.3m) for the second quarter of 2002.

Gnash won the pitch with a strategy based on building a new brand personality through media relations, and UDate is looking at a big marketing push next year, although no details have been released yet.

The company was founded in the UK and is based in Derby. It claims to have members from almost every country in the world. In February this year, it bought the US dating service Kiss.com for $17m.

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