Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers


Pretend Profits

Pretend Profits

Photograph by Matt Sayles/AP Images

Last year the office-supply retailer launched a Dunder Mifflin paper line, a tribute to the fictional manufacturer from the long-running NBC series The Office. It was a risky bet: The show, now in its final season, has lost much of its cultural relevancy (in November only 4.1 million viewers tuned in, a series low). And America’s office-supply industry is in sharp decline, too, with brick-and-mortar store sales falling an average 3.6 percent annually during the last five years, according to market researcher IBISWorld. Nonetheless, Quill, in a licensing deal with NBCUniversal (CMCSA), has built Dunder Mifflin into a million-dollar brand. It’s the site’s third-best-selling product. Last month, Quill announced it will expand Dunder Mifflin beyond reams of paper to include markers, sticky notes, tissues, disposable cups, storage boxes, and notepads. Here are some other notable brands that began in the world of make-believe—and a few that outperformed their inspiration.

Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

blog comments powered by Disqus