Benjamin Christie is an entrepreneur, innovator, thought leader and accomplished advertising executive. He is Founder and President of Gourmet Ads, the largest food vertical ad networks in the world. He is one of the world’s foremost leaders in developing online brand solutions for food, supermarket and grocery companies. As a 20-year veteran in online advertising.
Benjamin’s career started out in kitchens as an apprentice chef, at the award-winning Watermark Restaurant at Balmoral Beach on Sydney Harbour. From there he held positions in various hotels and resorts as executive chef and finally went on to host the cooking show, Dining Downunder which subsequently broadcast in 50 countries.
After a distinguished career as an Executive Chef at fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels, Benjamin shifted his focus from the kitchen to online. Benjamin transformed his vision into reality in 2008 when he founded Gourmet Ads. He envisioned creating a platform where food advertisers such as supermarket chains, multinational food brands and kitchenware companies could reach grocery buyers online at scale by curating a network of the world’s best food and recipe websites.
The success of Gourmet Ads has earned Benjamin recognition globally, as an innovator in digital advertising sector. In 2010, Benjamin began developing a “Holistic Publisher Management System” called “Platform” which is a cloud-based software layer which manages the entire business today. Best described as Gourmet Ads’ “secret sauce” it manages functions such as from Publisher setup, Ad Tags, Integrations, Bidder Management, Reporting and Header Bidding, as well as monthly publisher payments. Platform has allowed Gourmet Ads to quickly introduce new features that have added significant value to both advertisers and publishers.
With his passion for being on the cutting edge of technology, Benjamin launched the world’s first food focused Private Ad Exchange in 2011. The Gourmet Ads Marketplace allowed agency trading desks, DSPs and brand advertisers to access food inventory on a programmatic basis This revolutionary solution transformed the business contributing to YOY growth, and positioned Benjamin as an authority on programmatic advertising. It’s also seen, Benjamin being involved with the Appnexus Client Advisory Board, resulting in early access to new programmatic products such as launching Programmatic Deal Packages at the Appnexus European Summit in 2014.
Apart from organically growing Gourmet Ads, Benjamin spearheaded and incorporated into the company two profitable acquisitions, RecipeBridge.com and the Healthy Ads Network, both of which contributed to Gourmet Ads making the Deloitte 2015’s Technology Fast 50.
His talent for strategizing and executing groundbreaking solutions led him to integrated Header Bidding into the Gourmet Ads stack in early 2016. A combination of both client side and server to server integrations, it today runs on thousands of websites and is one of the largest single deployments of header bidding in the world. It can be deployed to a single publisher website within 2 minutes, quickly enabling the publisher across dozens of demand channels, thus maximizing revenue.
Benjamin is married with two children, and splits his time between New York and Sydney. He is a sought-after speaker at both advertising industry events and conferences worldwide talking on the topics of Food Advertising, Shopper Marketing, Programmatic Advertising and Header Bidding.