UK flack skewers big client eBay in press release

Like thousands of people around the world right now, Mark Jackson is peeved at eBay about some purchase gone sour. A Nintendo DS Lite, to be precise. Jackson was so peeved that he sent an email to several U.K. press outlets, copying eBay and demanding a response. This is only notable because Jackson is a high-ranking executive at Hill and Knowlton. And eBay does business with Hill and Knowlton all around the world — but substantially cut its budget in the last month. Here's Jackson's screed — and more about its curious timing.

UK flack skewers big client eBay in press release

eBay spokeswoman Shannon Stubo confirms that Hill and Knowlton still works for eBay, though not on as many projects as it did before last month, and never in the UK, where Jackson works. eBay, she notes, never authorized this particular press release. Jackson, however, was managing director of Hill and Knowlton's UK tech practice until recently, so it beggars belief that he wouldn't have known eBay was a client.

Was Jackson merely stupid? Or was he vindictive? Hill and Knowlton, after all, is the same firm which recently dissed the Entertainment Software Alliance, a videogame lobby group, shortly after the ESA spurned its advances.

Hill and Knowlton's San Francisco-based tech chief, Joe Paluska, didn't respond to a request for comment. But in a recent interview with a UK PR blog, Jackson had this to say for himself:

TWL: Just how big a penis do you need to run the UK corporate technologies practice at H&K?
MJ: Apparently it's not just about size; it seems experience is quite important too.
Good thing, because this is, as they say in London, quite a cockup.