Advertising agencies have dabbled in side businesses for decades, but “inventing their own brand, not dependent on clients’ largess, is the big new thing,” said George Parker, an ad agency consultant and writer of AdScam, a blog about the industry. As the economy worsens and ad budgets tighten, “the creation of intellectual property and new products is something you’re going to see a lot more of,” he said.
The big new thing in this case, oddly enough, is a blog called Mrs. O.
Zag, a division of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, got into the fashion blogging business in September, after Mary Tomer, a 27-year-old account planner hatched the idea for a site that chronicles what the future First Lady is wearing.
Instead of writing the blog in her spare time after work, like most bloggers with day jobs, she approached her employers to see if they would bankroll her new hobby. They readily agreed.