Fuel Digital Media launches in Montreal

Launched by former 24/7 Real Media exec John Sclapari, the network includes a topical mix of French and English websites and has a collective reach of 1.1 million UMVs.

Founder and CEO of Fuel Digital Media, John Sclapari, isn’t worried about starting a new online ad network in an uncertain economy. He thinks companies are ready to start spending again.

‘I think the market is picking up quite a bit,’ he tells MiC from his office in Montreal. ‘We’re seeing a lot of new business coming in, especially from the local advertisers. Even the small car dealer, he’s starting to call in and say, ‘I’d like to purchase some ad placement online.”

He launched with 10 properties, mainly French Canadian, and with a reach of 1.1 million unique monthly visitors. Sites in the network include Re/Max Quebec, Summum magazine for men and Browsecars.ca. Prior to launching Fuel, Sclapari worked with 24/7 Real Media (French market) for over 10 years.

The goal is to create a network that spans North America – with exclusive sales – but Sclapari says he is growing Fuel slowly to focus on quality over quantity.

‘In my discussions with advertisers and their agencies, I was always hearing the same thing from them. They’re becoming increasingly wary of brand safety online.They’d tell me, ‘We’re buying volume, we’re buying bulk, and it’s cheap inventory, but we’re starting to realize that we have no idea where we’re running, if we’re running above or below the fold, or are we actually running on Canadian impressions?’

Fuel Digital Media is using AdGear to measure impressions and clickthroughs for clients, and, if needed, post-click data.