Getting a little tired of watching Lance Armstrong hawk energy drinks, like, everywhere? Well, there’s a reason for this: tiny startup FRS Healthy Energy is spending more money online than any other consumer products advertiser, according to Nielsen’s AdRelevance.
The Lance-backed company bought a whopping 584 millon impressions in April. By comparison, Unilever bought 385 million impressions for $2 million and PepsiCo 320 million for $1.7 million. FRS is also leading by a similar margin in May. The top recipients of FRS’s largess: Yahoo, MSN, CNN.com, AOL and Google.
And just as the online ad economy has softened, FRS is ramping up. The company was the No. 21 advertiser in January, and climbed to No. 13 in February and No. 5 in March before taking the top spot. A spokeswoman said FRS is planning to keep spending at least at this level for the next few months.
Where’s the money coming from? FRS closed a $13 million Series B led by Oak Investment Partners in May, on top of a $25 million raise last June.
Lance Armstrong has obviously lent his likeness and endorsement to FRS, and recieved in exchange an equity position in the company. FRS won’t say how much equity Lance got, but let’s hope it’s significant: the company expects to ship 250,000 free trials of its energy drinks this year based on responses to his likeness.
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