Vaynermedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk has acquired women’s lifestyle digital media company PureWow, The Wall Street Journal Reports. The acquisition was made in conjunction with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross‘ venture capital firm RSE Ventures.
As a result of the acquisition, Vaynerchuk is launching VaynerMedia sister company The Gallery to house the publication, with the goal of expanding with future media properties. PureWow CEO Ryan Harwood will serve as The Gallery’s chief executive going forward.
Vaynerchuck described the deal to The Wall Street Journal as a “foray at a major level into the media side,” adding, “the internet itself creates an infrastructure that allows people to be involved in a lot of things at once.”
The move sees an agency edging in on publishers’ territory at a time when publishers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed and Vice, are doing the reverse via their branded content divisions.
“It’s been very obvious that the BuzzFeeds and Vices of the world have been aggressively going at the creative agencies,” Vaynerchuk said.
The acquisition follows the somewhat mysterious closing of VaynerMedia’s San Francisco office this past November, news of which broke shortly after a round of layoffs at the agency’s New York office following some informal “performance-based data collection.” VaynerMedia came under fire this summer for a sexist “attractive females and models only” email invite to a Cannes party it hosted along with Thrillist Media Group. The agency attributed the appalling invite to a third party promotions company — which turned out to be iGetIn, also known as Las Vegas-based “full service brand strategy and marketing firm” Ark Endeavors, which has a long history of such practices.
Photo: Gary Vaynerchuk