NBCU's iVillage Puts Sugar Publishing in its Ad Sales Cupboard

  |  June 28, 2007   |  Comments

NBC Universal will represent ads on PopSugar and nine other female-centered Sugar Network sites.

A new strategic alliance between NBC Universal Digital Media and Sugar Publishing makes Universal's digital media sales team the exclusive sales agent for Sugar's media inventory and gives advertisers an increased opportunity to reach women, say those involved.

Sugar, started about 15 months ago, publishes PopSugar and the nine other female-centered Sugar Network sites. The alliance means Sugar will become aligned with NBC Universal's similarly female-oriented iVillage Properties as Sugar and iVillage will share content.

"Our audiences are a little different, but not so different that they don't make good sense to sell together," said Peter Naylor, SVP of NBC Universal Digital Media Sales. He said the median age for iVillage readers is 37, about 10 years older than most of those who visit Sugar's sites. "But psychographically, we both appeal to a very modern consumer who lives her life online in a big way and is aspirational, educated, largely employed. So that's why they're complementary."

The alignment with iVillage will allow Sugar Publishing to focus on content creation, said founder Brian Sugar. "We raised our first round of capital during the early fall of last year and we used it to expand our network," said Sugar. "During the first half of the year we started to build out a sales force and we realized it takes a large, experienced team to really execute on that. We, as a small company, had to make some decisions early on."

He said the decision was to focus on content and let somebody else handle the ad sales. "In partnering with iVillage, we get the best sales force there is for selling stuff online," said Sugar.
Naylor said iVillage has a "mature and well-established sales force" known to marketers and agencies "on Madison Avenue."

According to ComScore, iVillage.com and other properties in the iVillage network garnered slightly more than 17 million uniques page views in May. Other top women's sites cited by the researchers included Glam Media, with about 17.3 million uniques, Everyday Health, The CondeNet Network and Womensforum sites.

Naylor and Sugar noted the deal is not an acquisition and, while the deal includes an equity investment that will give NBC Universal Digital Media a minority stake in Sugar Publishing, Sugar will remain independent. That means iVillage -- in a fashion similar to that used by Glam --will be selling ads for sites it doesn't own.

Naylor noted that iVillage already does this "a couple of sites" it doesn't wholly own and operate. But he said iVillage's focus on the "very specific audience" of women differentiates it from other online ad networks.

Neither he nor Sugar would predict what types of ads the deal is likely to bring to the Sugar Network. Naylor said iVillage and Sugar have "a virtual Swiss army knife" of online advertising solutions at their disposal.

"Our approach is to be very consultative in our sale," he said. "We like to talk with marketers and understand what their marketing problems are ... We can do all sorts of things to get people engaged: rich media, micro-sites, advertorials, video. Depending on the product or service and the marketing problem we have a wide variety of marketing solutions we can roll out."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...
    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...