|Editor||Åsk "Dabitch" Wäppling|
|Alexa rank||197,752 (January 2016[update])|
Adland is website focusing on the advertising industry and an Internet archive of commercials. Adland incorporates advertising news, critical commentary on ads and the advertising industry, and archives of ads and ad campaigns, concentrating on television advertisements. In 2003, Variety described Adland as a "center for ad-related news and discussion". The website also hosts ads which have been banned or censored elsewhere. Adland is headquartered in Malta, though coverage is international. Adland also has a Twitter presence with nearly 150,000 followers.[update]
Adland was founded by Åsk Wäppling in 1996, who uses the nom de plume Dabitch on the site. According to Wäppling, "we preserve, we publish, we deliver, we review and sometimes harass all advertising there is." Adland began as a place to collect plagiarized ads under the title Badland, and has grown into the largest archive of commercials in the world. The site also houses an archive of over forty years of Super Bowl commercials. Wappling describes Adland's earliest incarnation as a "proto-blog", inspired by her discussion of advertising on Usenet and on a mailing list she created. In 2000, Badland was rebranded as Adland. Initially, the site used a subscription model for access to its commercial archive, later moving to an ad-supported revenue model, and most recently to a donation supported site.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Adland defended—and hosted copies of—ads produced by the Swedish Red Cross Youth, which used the iconography of the games and were designed to draw attention to claims of human rights abuses by the Nepalese military. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies forced those ads to be withdrawn from the web, but Adland continued to host copies. Wäppling stated that she had received death threats and harassment over Adland's refusal to remove the ads, and that Adland had been subjected to Denial-of-service attacks over the issue. The Red Cross Youth stated that "the result of our campaign shows that it is more important than ever to discuss the consequences of human rights violations".
In February 2011, Adland was banned from Google AdSense after a picture from a Sloggi lingerie ad (included in a post by Åsk Wäppling on sexist advertising) was held to be inappropriate by Google. Wäppling described the ban as a case of "American puritanism". However, issues with Google were to recur. Adland was reinstated, then banned again over the display of ads from another lingerie campaign in January 2012, then reinstated once more, and finally banned for good by Google in December 2012 over images of ads from PETA used in an Adland post critical of the controversial animal rights group's advertising.
In January 2016, Adland became the first advertising news site available the Tor Network, designed for anonymous browsing and of the Dark Web. Wäppling describes Adland's .onion mirror as a service to the growing number of Adland readers using adblock software due to concerns over privacy, noting that "The way ad networks are today are basically indistinguishable from malware."
In 2005 Jena McGregor, writing for FastCompany, said that Adland's "group blog approach generates a more diverse array of insight from registered users". In 2012 Business Insider placed Adland on a list of the 22 most influential advertising blogs. In a 2012 Adweek interview with Wäppling, Tim Nudd wrote that Wäppling and Adland cover the advertising industry with "wit, humor, style and more than a little improvisation". Åsk Wäppling was one of more than one hundred marketing and branding personalities interviewed in Josh Sklar's 2014 book Digital Doesn't Matter.
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