Agency buys publisher – the introduction of a new trend?

Publishers like Vice and The New York Times have increasingly encroached on agencies’ advertising and custom content businesses, but VaynerMedia did the reverse last week with its purchase of PureWow.

With business partners Steven Ross and the team at RSE Ventures, VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk bought the women’s lifestyle publisher as the first property in Vayner’s newly created sibling company, The Gallery.

It may be a model other agencies will follow, giving shops a new route to growth and some closer connections to consumers in the process. But don’t expect to see Young & Rubicam, for example, buy The New York Times.

“No question, this is the start of a very significant trend,” said Jay Haines, founder of Grace Blue, which created a global partnership with consultancy and mergers and acquisitions adviser SI Partners last year. Agencies have been asking more and more about how to deliver content in a faster way across multiple channels, Mr. Haines said. And what faster way than owning the publishers that disseminate the content?

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