Online publishing company Glam Media, which reaches more than 200 million unique visitors each month through its network of female-oriented web sites – including flagship property Glam.com – has acquired Toronto rep firm BBS Media (Boxer B-Scene Media). A purchase price was not disclosed.
The company also announced the formal launch of Glam Media Canada, which will be overseen by BBS Media co-founders Mark Boxer and Brian Fields. Canada is Glam’s fifth international market, following the establishment of offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and France.
BBS Media has been repping the Glam Media sites, which also include the male-oriented site Brash.com, since June 2007. It has seen considerable growth in ad revenues during that time, said Glam’s public relations head Paul Loeffler. Year over year ad revenues increased more than 100% between 2009 and 2010, he said, and the company expects to expand on that growth in the coming year.
“We really wanted to double down and make the most of it,” said Loeffler of the BBS Media acquisition. “Canada is such a fast-growing market and this is a strategic [move] to gain a foothold and make the most of the opportunities.”
BBS also oversees Canadian ad sales for several other online media entities, including HarpersBazaar.com, YummyMummyClub.ca, Washington Post Digital, Forbes.com and MensHealth.com.
Glam said the BBS acquisition reflects the “overall importance” of Canada in the global online ad market, citing an IAB Canada report noting online display advertising in Canada reached $600 million last year, up 15% from the previous year.
Christine McNicholas, senior vice-president of Glam Media and country manager for Glam Canada, said that Canada has historically been among the world’s most “engaged” online communities, with engagement among women increasing exponentially year over year.
She cited ComScore data indicating that Canada is first in the world among average hours per week spent online at 42.2, with Canadian women spending 50% more time on beauty, fashion and style sites in Q4 2010 than they did in the corresponding period a year earlier.
McNicholas said that Glam was attracted to BBS because of its extensive relationships with Canadian publishers, as well as advertisers and agencies. “BBS has tremendous relationships and traction with the advertising and publishing communities,” she said.
The deal, she added, will provide Canadian advertisers with “tremendous scale,” providing instant access to 8.5 million females each month across its stable of properties. There are also plans to develop Glam’s male, total adult and health and wellness properties, she added.
As part of the transaction, Glam is also introducing its proprietary GlamAdapt ad-serving platform to the Canadian market, providing Canadian advertisers access to its suite of rich-media ad solutions.
The company is also establishing a new owned and operated site, Glam.ca, this summer. The site will feature a dedicated team of Canadian writers and editors offering what it called “quality curated content” across a range of lifestyle categories including beauty, entertainment, fashion and sports.
“Canadians are bombarded by American media options, and as Glam sets up a much stronger network of Canadian voices, we’ll be delivering much needed, much requested Canadian editorial platforms and a much more engaged audience,” said Boxer.
There will be no impact on BBS Media’s day-to-day relations with agencies and clients as a result of the transaction, he said.