Can Glam Media keep up the pretense of being a way for advertisers to reach a mostly female audience much longer? The ad network has used some of its latest $85 million in debt and equity funding to acquire London-based Monetise. Monetise is an ad network that buys inventory low, aggregates it, and then sells it a bit higher — just like Glam! Except that Monetise's clients are outfits like Flixster, TVGuide.co.uk, and ArtistDirect — none of which sound like they serve overwhelmingly female audiences. The move does allow Glam to grow its raw numbers of represented sites at such a pace that clueless investors may continue funding it at ridiculously high valuations, giving Glam more cash to continue the process — until someday, somebody buys the whole thing and the founders walk away.
The process is ably helped along by the Wall Street Journal, which breathlessly and inaccurately describes Glam both as a network with "450 partner sites" and as a destination site, in fact "the most popular women's site in the U.S." By glossing over the difference between a low-margin ad network and a Web publisher, the Journal serves as a mouthpiece for Glam's slick chairman and CEO, Samir Arora, who ends the article with a self-serving quote: "This will be the year that Glam goes global." Has he run out of suckers domestically so soon?