The Non-RSS Subscription Model

My dad’s a retired dairy exec. He used to read The Milkweed, a dairy industry trade rag that’s been in continuos operation for 27 years. He relates to AdPulp through that lens. So, it was neat to see Peter Hardin, The Milkweed’s editor and publisher in this morning’s New York Times.
The Milkweed has over 7500 subscribers and accepts no advertising. Which, of course, is a wonderful way of building trust with one’s audience.
I can’t help but wonder, would you trust us more if we stopped running ads? Would it make for a better pub?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. As to your questions about ads ….
    I think it depends on our audience of course. My guess is most of the people that get your feed (I do) work in advertising/marketing (I do). We understand advertising. Get that in many instance it is how publications generate revenue. So I guess most of us don’t see a problem with RSS ads (I don’t).
    But any audience like diary farmers or construction works I’d think wouldn’t agree. I could be wrong (it has happened) but if I was advising The Milkweed I stress stay away from ads. You might be a short-term gain in revenue, but long-term you might hurt the relationship you’ve developed.
    Or at the very least, I’d suggest a test and see if their numbers changed. Or even better, do what you just did. Ask them.

  2. But has The Milkweed ever sold its list of names, or the use of that list? Ever, in 27 years?