Best Online Publishers: Women/Health

A Village Building an Empire 

Whether it’s boomers looking for parenting advice or young women seeking fitness tips, iVillage has continued to build a healthy and vibrant community. In fact, The Women’s Network attracts somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore Media Metrix.

The model appears to be working. And since NBC Universal acquired the leading women’s online hub for $600 million last spring, NBC Universal’s president of digital media and marketing development Beth Comstock has said she wants to use iVillage as a base for new “communities that go beyond women.”

NBC has begun cross-leveraging various media platforms from its television and film properties to add breadth to iVillage. On the home page, for instance, iVillage has added entertainment video content to its iVillage Videos section, featuring celebrity-oriented video clips. This represents a sharp departure from the “old” iVillage, which focused more on core health and well-being issues such as diet and relationships. By adding more celebrity-packed items, iVillage has become a one-stop shop for women.

To promote the various improvements and to drive more traffic, iVillage launched an advertising campaign in December 2006, featuring the company’s first TV spots in more than five years.

The site continues to expand. For example, there is a nascent maternity microsite under the tab Pregnancy & Parenthood. And iVillage continues to deliver excellence in its core content areas of health, wellness, and diet and fitness, including targeted e-mail newsletter blasts.

Also coming on strong is eDiets, which has upped the celebrity factor. The diet site features a custom plan by actress Suzanne Somers. And successfully leverages content from its sibling cable network by offering cutting-edge features via its Get Healthy category. Visitors to the site can access calorie calculators and get nutrition information. has undergone a site makeover that’s packed with new features for health-conscious visitors. A nod also goes to Jenny Craig for leveraging its TV pitchwoman Kirstie Alley online. Alley’s visibly transformed herself and so has, which has broadened its appeal to reach a more sophisticated audience.

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