NBC is launching a female-focused quasi-marketing agency featuring the following people: Maria Bartiromo, Meredith Vieira, and Tori Spelling. Raise your hand if you don't see the problems with this. (Hand down, Tori).

They, along with 22 other estimable names, including Ogilvy & Mather Chairman-CEO Shelly Lazarus, aren't forming an agency in the traditional sense, but will be part of a "panel" offering marketing and general business advice to NBC Universal and its clients on how to reach women. The group will also blog, write and appear on air for the media company's women-oriented properties and contribute to a quarterly newsletter, "Power of the Purse," covering marketing to the demographic and the latest female trends. The panel will convene for the first time Feb. 10. In effect, it could become the most powerful female-focused agency in the country.

Ha. Um. As you can see, when times get tough, media companies just stop giving a fuck about anything except pulling in more revenue. Which this may or may not succeed in doing! This is a bit like Dan Abrams' comically unethical new PR firm featuring working journalists, except even more ambitious. Reportedly "Journalists and other members of the group will be able to recuse themselves as necessary to avoid conflicts." So all 'journalists' on there, just get out now, before things get ugly.

The revenge upon those who embrace this idea will be having to listen to Tori Spelling give paid advice. [Ad Age]