SAN JOSE--PayPal has called in MSLGroup to oversee its $5m North American PR brief as it attempts to boost its brand with consumers, the Holmes Report can reveal.

The e-commerce giant selects the firm following a competitive review that began earlier this year, as revealed by the Holmes Report.

MSLGroup is understood to have seen off competition from three other contenders - GolinHarris, Grayling and Edelman - in the final phase of the pitch. The firm  succeeds incumbent Access Communications, after the Omnicom agency declined to repitch the business.

"The PayPal communications team is thrilled to name MSLGroup as our agency of record in North America," said a spokesperson for the company. "With the perfect mix of consumer marketing expertise and tech know-how, MSLGroup is the right agency for PayPal as we enter an exciting time for our brand."

The review follows the arrival at eBay of communications chief Christina Smedley from Edelman in late 2012. It is also thought that PayPal is rethinking its social media and global PR arrangements. The company currently works with Edelman, Grayling and Text 100 in international markets. 

"MSLGroup is thrilled to be working with PayPal as they embark on changing the face of global commerce," said MSLGroup North America CEO Renee Wilson. "It's just extremely gratifying."

MSLGroup already counts an existing relationship with PayPal via its PBJS creative arm in Seattle, which has previously supported the company's 'Shopping Showcase' programme in New York. The North American business will now be led from the firm's San Francisco office.

Sources involved in the review earlier told the Holmes Report that PayPal is aiming to boost its presence as an everyday consumer brand. 

In recent months, the company has broadened its reach to the offline market, tying up with 23 US retailers that now allow in-store payments using a PayPal card or PIN code. The move gives PayPal customers access to 18,000 US stores and is viewed as part of its strategy to attract users from credit card companies and mobile wallet payment devices. In addition, it has launched an iPhone app in conjunction with Jamba Juice.

PayPal has demonstrated strong financial growth over the past year, improving revenues by 23 percent in the third-quarter of 2012 and reporting 117.4m active accounts. PayPal accounts for around 40 percent of eBay’s earnings, with 2011 revenue totalling $4.4bn.