Glam Media's newest section targets African Americans

An advertising company that first focused on fashion, beauty, and celebrity gossip sites, Glam Media has expanded both geographically and content-wise over the past year.

Glam Media, the female-oriented advertising and blog resource firm that has stirred both conversation and controversy in Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue, plans to announce on Thursday a "channel" for blogs geared toward African American audiences.

Called Glam Black Life, the new content area joins existing channels like fashion, beauty, entertainment, family, and the most recent addition, "wellness." Like the others, Glam Black Life serves ads on blogs that have been accepted into the network, and see their content featured on the homepage and e-mail newsletter. And like other Glam niches, Black Life is headed by executives with backgrounds in traditional media: director Tamera Reynolds, a former executive at Honey magazine, and ad sales chief Asten Morgan Jr., a former sales executive at television network BET.

The debut advertiser for Glam Black Life is automaker Lexus, and a number of sites that cater to African American women have signed on as network members, among them Afrobella, YBF, and The Blay Report.

Glam remains a topic of contentious discussion in tech and advertising circles. It's partially a reaction to colorful and ambitious founding CEO Samir Arora, partially due to executives' insistence that they aren't running an "advertising" company, and partially because there still isn't full industry confidence in its business model--a professed old-media approach to content on the Web.

But it's undeniable that the company has seen an impressive trajectory over the past year: a steady stream of press releases have announced $85 million in venture funding, acquisitions, international expansion, and executives plucked from Google.

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