BY GEOFF WEISS
Just as talent managers entered the digital space to guide the careers of influencers who unwittingly rose to celebrity out of their bedrooms, a similar movement is apparently happening among their canine counterparts.
The Dog Agency, reports the Wall Street Journal, is one of the first talent management agency for influencer pets—many of which have hundreds of thousands of followers across social media and high-profile marketers clamoring to collaborate.
The Dog Agency was founded by Harvard Law grad Loni Edwards, who is mother to a famous pooch of her own, Chloe (with 126,000 followers on Instagram). For the most part, famous dogs seem to be finding their groove on Instagram, and Edwards’ current clients include The Dogist, French bulldog sisters Piggy and Polly, and goldendoodle Samson. Thus far, she has inked deals with Google, Merck, PetSmart, Ritz-Carlton, and Dyson, and is negotiating deals with Nikon and Equinox, she says.
Edwards told the Journal that she founded the agency after noting that many owners of popular pets had neither the time nor the business savvy to manage the burgeoning careers of their animal companions. And while it’s surely not as much as human influencers, animals can still command a pretty penny. Dogs with between 150,000 and 250,000 Instagram followers can receive upward of $3,000 for a single post—of which Edwards says she takes a standard cut.
“With dogs, you’re reaching men, women, kids, grandparents. They just have this wide appeal,” Edwards said. And as marketing vehicles, the dogs—being blissfully ignorant of their growing fame—aren’t necessarily perceived as selling out. “People don’t treat them as ads. The dogs are creating content, which is what they like to do.”