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Adland Toy TV Logo
EditorÅsk "Dabitch" Wäppling
Alexa rankDecrease 536,830 (December 2018)[1]
Launched1996 (1996)
Current statusCurrently inactive as of September 19, 2019 (2019-09-19)

Adland is a website focusing on the advertising industry and an Internet archive of commercials.[2] Adland incorporates advertising news, critical commentary on ads and the advertising industry, and archives of ads and ad campaigns, concentrating on television advertisements.[3] In 2003, Variety described Adland as a "center for ad-related news and discussion".[4] The website also hosts ads which have been banned or censored elsewhere.[5] Adland is headquartered in Malta, though coverage is international.[3] Adland also has a Twitter presence with nearly 150,000 followers.[6] On September 19, 2019, the website completely moved out of web server host Vultr due to copyright infringement regarding Bridgestone commercial.


Adland creator Åsk Wäppling at the Eurobest awards.

Adland was founded by Åsk Wäppling in 1996, who uses the nom de plume Dabitch on the site.[7] According to Wäppling, "we preserve, we publish, we deliver, we review and sometimes harass all advertising there is."[8] Adland began as a place to collect plagiarized ads under the title Badland,[9] and has grown into the largest archive of commercials in the world.[10] The site also houses an archive of over forty years[11] of Super Bowl commercials.[12] 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.[13] In 2000, Badland was rebranded as Adland. Initially, the site used a subscription model for access to its commercial archive,[4][14] later moving to an ad-supported revenue model,[15] and most recently to a donation supported site.[3]

Death threats[edit]

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 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies forced those ads to be withdrawn from the web, but Adland continued to host copies.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,[16] and that Adland had been subjected to Denial-of-service attacks over the issue.[17][18] 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".[19]

Google AdSense bans[edit]

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".[15] 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,[20] 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.[21]

Adland on Tor[edit]

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,[22][23] noting that "The way ad networks are today are basically indistinguishable from malware."[24]

Copyright infringement regarding Bridgestone commercial[edit]

On September 19, 2019, the world's largest and oldest commercial archive[25] was taken offline. Adland's cloud server host Vultr received an email from the lawyer Amy Tindell at Holland & Hart LLP in Boulder, Colorado, United States demanding the removal of a Bridgestone commercial from 2002. The commercial, which titled "A Dog's Life", was created by a team at BBDO in Bangkok, Thailand and won a silver award in the 2003 Asia Pacific Adfest. One of the claims the lawyer made in her email, is that by writing "Bridgestone" in the article about the commercial, Adland is infringing on their trademark. The website has been given 24 hours to "remove the domain" from their host.[26] Since the alert, Adland has stated on their Twitter account that they've been in talks with another web server host, named Packet, stating that Packet has been "extremely helpful and on the ball". Techdirt called it a "bullshit DMCA notice",[27] whilst Åsk Wäppling says that she is in talks with the "History of Advertising Trust" regarding eventual takeover.[28] Adpulp asked if 'this mess all caused by lack of communication between parties?' to which Åsk Wäppling responded that it has been 16 years since PR was even involved. When asked why she didn't move the Adland archive to YouTube, she points out that Adland, and this contested commercial, is older than YouTube by several years.[29]


In 2005, Jena McGregor, writing for FastCompany, said that Adland's "group blog approach generates a more diverse array of insight from registered users".[7] In 2012, Business Insider placed Adland on a list of the 22 most influential advertising blogs.[30] 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".[31] Åsk Wäppling was one of more than one hundred marketing and branding personalities interviewed in Josh Sklar's 2014 book Digital Doesn't Matter.[32]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ MacLeod, Duncan (14 November 2006). "Adland AdRag Commercial Archive". The Inspiration Room. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "About Adland". Adland. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Travis F. (23 September 2003). "Got ads?". Variety. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  5. ^ Wäppling, Åsk. "Banned Ads". Adland. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Adland®". Twitter. 1 January 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b McGregor, Jena (21 March 2005). "Best Business Blogs: Advertising". Fast Company. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  8. ^ Sten, Pelle (28 April 2009). "Vi bygger internet: Åsk Wäppling," [We build the Internet: Ask Wäppling]. Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  9. ^ Paulsen, Mats (1998). ""Hon lägger plagiaten på webben"" [She puts the plagiarized ads on the web]. Resumé (in Swedish).
  10. ^ Gould, Rob (18 June 2013). "Åsk 'Dabitch' Wäppling, Creative Director & CEO of Adland, Stockholm, Sweden". MaineToday. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  11. ^ Wäppling, Ask (2015). "43 years of Super Bowl Commercials". Adland. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  12. ^ Bhatt, Shephali (10 April 2013). "Advertising's most bookmarked websites showcasing world's most creative ads". The Economic Times. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Åsk 'Dabitch' Wäppling, Art Director/Founder, AdLand". Creative Interviews. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  14. ^ Pettersson, Svante (20 June 2005). "Trettiotusen läser hennes blogg" [Thirty thousand read her blog]. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  15. ^ a b Widell, Henrik (28 February 2011). "Reklambloggare bannad av Google–beskylls för att sprida porr" [Advertising Blogger banned by Google-Blamed for spreading porn]. Dagens Media (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  16. ^ Fagerlind, Linda (23 July 2008). "Adlands grundare hotas för OS-kritisk reklam" [Adlands founder threatened over Odd Scouts critical advertising]. Resumé (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  17. ^ Van Hoven, Matt (15 August 2008). "Adblogger Gets Death Threats etc. Over Human Rights Ads posted on Her Site". AgencySpy. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  18. ^ Fagerlind, Linda (28 August 2008). "Röda Korset ställer sig bakom reklambloggare" [Red Cross backs advertising blogger]. Resumé (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  19. ^ Bystedt, Marika (28 August 2008). "Allvarliga konsekvenser efter Röda Korsets Ungdomsförbunds kinakampanj" [Serious consequences for the Red Cross Youth China campaign]. Mynewsdesk (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  20. ^ Wäppling, Åsk (18 January 2012). "Google's left hand doesn't know what the right one does". AdLand. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  21. ^ Wäppling, Åsk (21 December 2012). "Adland booted from Google Adsense due to PETA's misogynist ads". AdLand. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  22. ^ Zanger, Doug (16 January 2016). "Adland Goes Dark (Web)". The Drum. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  23. ^ Dempsey, Steve (24 January 2016). "Can media make it on the darkside?". Independent. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  24. ^ Brooke, Zach (2016). "A Marketer's Guide to the Dark Web". American Marketing Association. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Minato, Charlie (7 July 2012). "Meet The 22 Most Influential Advertising Bloggers". Business Insider. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  31. ^ Nudd, Tim (25 October 2012). "Fast Chat: Åsk Wäppling The legendary ad blogger on Instagram creatives, brands riding the Reddit wave, and how agencies can save themselves". AdWeek. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  32. ^ Sklar, Josh (2014). Digital Doesn't Matter (And Other Advertising Heresies). Austin, Texas: Heresy Press, LLC. ISBN 978-0-69-222685-8.

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