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Tumblr CEO realises ads don't make him sick after all

Two years after renouncing all ads, Karp's stomach settles

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Just two years after Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp said that advertising on sites like his made him physically sick, Karp has announced that Tumblr will start offering paid advertising.

In 2010, Karp told The LA Times that the blogging site was "pretty opposed to advertising" and "it really turns our stomachs".

Today at the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York, Karp said in his keynote speech that Tumblr would be offering the "radar" post on users' dashboard – previously used for interesting or popular posts – as an ad unit on 2 May.

Karp did not try to disguise his complete about-turn, quoting his own words from two years ago in the announcement and admitting he'd been an "idiot" to say that.

Brands already use Tumblr in different ways to advertise their stuff. Karp mentioned the Tumblr account Capitol Culture, which featured top looks from the fictional dictatorship of the cult-novel-turned-movie The Hunger Games or an account from online glasses shop Warby Parker that posts pictures of dogs in sunglasses.

Karp used these examples to explain how Tumblr's foray into advertising would be different from, oh, say, Facebook or Google, whose ads were "devoid of creativity".

Karp didn't mention how much the ad units would cost. ®

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