iZEST Influence, a new Irish firm that helps celebrities manage and monetise their online presence, is looking to expand into the US before the end of the year.
The company has just been launched by Jenny Taaffe the founder of Irish marketing agency iZest Marketing, which specialises in travel and retail marketing. She is running the new company, which already includes model and fashion and beauty blogger Pippa O'Connor as a client, with Alan McGovern.
Speaking to the Irish Independent Ms Taaffe said that the firm has the potential to hugely shake up the traditional advertising market.
"[The effectiveness] of traditional advertising has become more questionable. Brands want to link with high profile people directly and this is a way of doing it," she said. "It is a new way of celebrities building long term careers. For people whose natural career only lasts for so long, like a sports person, what happens next?
She gives the example of Pippa O'Connor. She says that before teaming up with iZest Ms O'Connor had a large online following but had not found a way of monetising it.
"We manage Pippa O'Connor from a digital perspective. We recently designed and built a new version of her website Pippa.ie, and manage all of the commercial deals for her site.
The firm currently has a staff of 12 which is based in Dublin. Ms Taaffe says that she is looking to double that number and launch in the US over the next six months. "We expect to be launching in the UK in the next few weeks [but] the big international market is in the US. [We hope] to launch there in the next six months," she said.