Ad Blogs Are Anachronisms. Long Live Ad Blogs.

It was nearly nine years ago that Shawn and I said what the hell, let’s give this ad blog thing a run for the money. We’ve learned a lot about the industry, ourselves and about building a micro-media brand along the way, and we continue to marvel at the accelerated pace of change in marketing and communications.

No doubt some of the changes are for the best. Frederic Filloux, writing in The Guardian, notes “we are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of smaller, digital-only outlets that are closing the gap, quality-wise, with legacy media.”

Meanwhile, legacy media companies struggle to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing mediascape. Take the watering down of Forbes, an historic media brand, with what is now a murky sea of contributor-generated content.

Legacy media brands are working to find their place in the market today. Paywalls are going up and paywalls are coming down. Editorial lines are being crossed, and tacky advertising intrusions and sponsored content are now commonplace. It’s no wonder a title like Forbes loses its center and its way.

At AdPulp, I feel like we are continually finding our way. This is part of AdPulp’s charm for me and why it remains an interesting project to work on every day. There have been times when I thought of retiring from the site, but I always come back for more. It’s not for the adoring fans and buckets of money. I wish I could say it was. The truth is AdPulp is something I enjoy doing/making.

Naturally, I consider this project and our team to be part of “the new breed of smaller, digital-only outlets that are closing the gap, quality-wise, with legacy media.” I think we along with Adrants, Adland, Adverblog and The Denver Egotist network constitute a whole new layer or block of media — we’re all practitioners who publish “industry insider” trade journals, exclusively online. Does our product stand up against legacy media’s reporting? You be the judge, but on a good day, I’d say it does. But it’s not necessarily the right question to ask of us. Ad bloggers are free to editorialize, whereas real reporters are encouraged to explore all sides of an issue.

I think readers enjoy both the rigor of journalism and the freewheeling nature of micro-media and we attempt to provide a degree of both.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.