Fuel Digital bolsters international client list

The Quebec-based rep house has added France's Webedia, adding to its media and entertainment portfolio.
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Fuel Digital Media has won the Canadian representation for French entertainment network Webedia’s ad business.

Webedia, which has more than 20 film and media sites including AlloCine.fr, JeuxVideo.com and PurePeople.com in its network, sees more than three million unique Canadian visitors per month across its properties. It’s the second win this fall for Fuel from a France-based network. Last month, Fuel won rep rights for Groupe Le Monde.

Fuel president John Sclapari told MiC the France market is key for not only its own strategy, but also many Canadian ad clients. “Let’s take Tourism Montreal, for example,” he said. “They’ve got budgets where they want to specifically target the French. This year, we ran a content program across five of our publishers in France for them.” He said he’s noticed budgets for targeting overseas viewers have grown.

Webedia sees $425 million in revenues annually overall, according to Sclapari. He said the two properties he was most interested in were AlliCine and JeuxVideo, which had reaches of 800,000 and 650,000 unique visitors per month, respectively.

Besides the value of the French audience, Sclapari said it’s also a key move in bolstering Fuel’s portfolio of media and entertainment publishers.

He said in the first few years following Fuel’s launch in 2010, he was mainly pursuing local publications. But at a certain point, he said, a global strategy was needed for growth. “Take the lifestyle vertical for example,” he said. “There are only so many French-Canadian lifestyle sites catering to women in Quebec.” He said many legacy media companies, such as Ricardo Media, have strong enough roots in the province with their own internal sales teams.

By venturing out of Canada, Sclapari said he’s been able to create a distinctly premium portfolio as well, rather than going for a land-grab.