Cosmo Advertisers on the Catwalk to Glam.com

Cosmopolitan, whose own Web presence and online ads are handled by iVillage, has entered a unique ad sales relationship with an entirely different online media company.

The Hearst women’s magazine has begun offering its advertisers display banners on Glam.com, an online fashion and entertainment portal with e-commerce capabilities, to accompany their print campaigns. The agreement will commence with Cosmopolitan’s September issue, which it’s selling to advertisers now.

Cosmo will offer 250,000 impressions on Glam.com to ten of its advertisers for a period of six months, with an option to renew next spring. Additional branded content placements may also be available.

“We have been hearing more and more from our advertisers and the marketplace in general that it’s important to reach consumers on as many touchpoints as possible,” said Nicole Polley, marketing director for Cosmo. “Glam.com had an expertise in the fashion area that we thought was very compelling. They had the click-to-buy capability. If we were going to move into this realm, why not partner with someone who was expert in it?”

Cosmopolitan approached Glam.com shortly after the latter’s launch to discuss working together, according to Samir Arora, chairman and founder of Glam Media.

“Their target market, 18- to 39-years-old, is very close to our target market. We know the same women spend some time with magazines, some time online, some time reading books, some time watching television,” he said. “We said, ‘Let’s find the most effective ways to bring brands to the same audience when they’re on different mediums.'”

Cosmopolitan does not manage its own Web presence directly. Cosmopolitan.com draws over a million unique users per month and is operated by iVillage (which recently agreed to sell to NBC Universal for $600 million). Polley said Hearst’s publishing relationship with iVillage is under review.

The nature of Cosmo’s arrangement with Glam.com is unorthodox. Rarely have traditional media companies agreed to sell ad inventory on Web properties they don’t have a stake in. This is perhaps due to concerns over who owns the advertiser relationships, but Cosmo and Glam.com both brushed aside those worries.

“This relationship is based on a lot of trust on both sides,” said Glam’s Arora. “On our side, we’ve built a program in which our sales force and their sales force will be jointly calling on accounts.”

Glam.com has reported strong growth since its launch. The company recorded just under a million unique users in March and this month exceeded a million by the 19th.

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