NYSE used a massive red banner to woo Pinterest away from the Nasdaq for its $12 billion IPO

Some people use Pinterest for interior design. Others use it for party planning. The New York Stock Exchange uses it to win massive IPOs

Looking to get an edge over Nasdaq for Pinterest's upcoming public listing, in February NYSE displayed a giant, red banner promoting its own Pinterest page, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The banner was free advertising for Pinterest, and ultimately it worked to woo the site to its side. Pinterest, which was last valued over $12 billion in 2017, opted to list with NYSE in its upcoming IPO, rather than its competitor Nasdaq. The company filed a public S-1 at the end of March and is expected to start trading sometime in April.

While the banner kicked off their courtship in a big way, Pinterest ultimately chose NYSE because it offered a large marketing package, according to the Journal.

Nasdaq put up its own fight in the battle for Pinterest. The exchange reportedly reserved the ticker symbol "PINT" to get a leg up, but it didn't work. Instead, Pinterest will use the ticker "PINS" in its upcoming NYSE listing.

The free marketing and specialized tickers are just some of the ways that NYSE and Nasdaq have used perks to compete amid the IPO spree of multi-billion dollar tech startups. Both exchanges have bent their own rules, from dress codes to listing locations, to please the companies they want to take public, according to the Journal.

Read more:  Hot video meeting startup Zoom filed to go public, and it's profitable

Nasdaq, which dominated the tech IPO market during the boom in the late '90s, won Lyft's business and took it public last week. It will also take the video conferencing company Zoom public later in April.

NYSE, however, has won many of the high-profile listings expected in the first half of the year. The exchange will reportedly take both Uber and Slack public, as well as the African e-commerce company Jumia and the enterprise IT management company PagerDuty, which both publicly filed in March.

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