Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brash.com: Glam For the Lads

Massive vertical ad network Glam has launched Brash.com, it's new entry targeting -- get this -- men! Brash, which Valleywag called an imitation of GQ and Esquire -- actually they called it a pale imitation -- is the latest initiative from this polarizing web property.

Here's an excerpt form the ValleyWag piece:

Glam's whim-seeking CEO, Samir Arora, in his efforts to create the illusion of a game-changing new media company, is expanding willy-nilly into new fields, without the sustained effort or attention required, hoping that someone will buy his company before they notice all the failed initiatives that trail in Arora's wake. Our prediction: Brash will go the way of Glam's "wellness" channel, an initiative of Arora's wife, Rebecca Arora. Six months after its launch, Glam laid off all the salespeople involved in selling it, several sources confirm.

You won't be surprised to hear that my assessment is more generous. The idea of a men's network is a fine concept. Thing is, there are already several, including ESPN, which is a tough site to beat.

And the other thing is, while male advertising tends to get a lot of press, women do buy 80-some percent of stuff, so ad dollars may be a bit less easy to come by.

Now, Glam has taken on big guns before, most notably iVillage, but ESPN is rather...hegemonic. Is that even a word? But you get my drift.

My only concern for Glam is that all these initiatives distract management from the base business, and wringing out growth on the Glam network is going to get tougher over time. So, in sum, I see a new entry without a lot of differentiation taking on a powerful existing player in a business area that is new to the company, while the base business will be craving focus over the next few "lean" months.

Oh, and there's that other thing. If a company targets women and men, doesn't that make it a horizontal network? I ]'spect they'll find it particularly difficult to wrest dollars from Advertising.com and ValueClick.

Not sure this is such a hot idea...but then I poo-pooed Youtube when it launched, so I ain't infallible. By a long stretch.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.

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