Tumblr CEO David Karp bemoans the rise of 'little blue links' in stifling creative online advertising

Tumblr founder at the Monaco Media Forum

!The CEO and founder of social sharing website Tumblr, David Karp, has bemoaned the rise of ‘little blue links’ in online advertising, claiming that it is holding back ‘an incredibly creative and capable industry’.

Tumblr, the social blogging website with around 80 million users, allows them to be create and share their content with the rest of the community.

Speaking at the Monaco Media Forum, Karp aimed to highlight the creative advertising offer that his company offered brands, stating that “one of the things I find most disheartening about internet adverts today is that it’s all defined and relegated to little blue links.”

Karp continued to say that he saw the advertising industry as being one that was “constantly pumping out some of the most incredible media in the world today.”

He added: “People go into that industry with Mad Men aspirations and right now they are all being squeezed into these hyper-optimised models…rather than trying to tell stories that make people want to be customers and get their driver’s license as soon as they are old enough to want to buy an Audi.”

In recent months, Tumblr has begun to look towards advertising as a major revenue steam having seemingly long resisted, which Karp says fits entirely with his site’s creative ethos: “It’s an opportunity for those advertisers who have been frustrated by those little blue links, giving them the chance to tell their stories and inspire all new customers who didn’t know they cared about that product and that brand.

“The conversation we have with advertisers, we are showing them that Tumblr is a place where 80 million people today are telling stories and creating media that’s attracting an audience of over 70 million people all over the world. They can be a part of that same ecosystem as the creators, where all of the major networks, they are second to the primary reason that those consumers are going there.”

Karp continued: “We’re giving them [advertisers] a forum where they have all the same tools for expression as the rest of the community. This is something that is unique to Tumblr in that we are this incredibly expressive creative platform. People are showing up to create stuff, to tell stories and create compelling media. They are all the same tools. There are no special brand pages, no special hyper post for advertisers – they get all of the same tools. For their ad spend they get elevation within the community, and lifted up to the top.”

This week, Tumblr announced a list of 12 creative agencies which would work as partners in advising and sharing resources. Those agencies were We Are Social, AKQA, AllDayEveryDay, BBH, Deep Focus, Carrot Creative, Droga5, Horizon Media, Poke, Social@Ogilvy, Watson Design Group and 360i.

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