Why Isn't AdCritic Free Anymore?
September 22, 2004 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Remember when AdCritic used to be free? That was the best. Why isn't it free anymore?

Why wouldn't companies want people to be able to view their ads for free on the Internet? I mean, I know many cos. make their ads available on their own websites, but I really cannot wrap my mind right now around any reason why cos. would want people to pay to view advertising?

Maybe it's not the companies who want people to pay, but the folks who ran AdCritic, who saw opportunities for lucre and pursued them. And maybe it's not just anyone who pays for them, but ad execs looking for inspiration. (Hence the ludicrous subscription fee of $100 a year.)

But my question remains. Why wouldn't companies be eager to support and/or build a site that facilitated free, mass distribution of their marketing? And why does such a site not now exist?
posted by grrarrgh00 to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I don't believe that adcritic is aimed at a general audience, but rather at people who work in advertising and marketing. My girlfriend, for instance, uses it fairly often for her job.
posted by Doug at 7:33 PM on September 22, 2004

Short answer: bandwidth.

It's true many companies are eager to distrubute press releases, or engage in elaborate advertising campaigns. But underwriting other online sites, to the point of granting money for the sake of traffic management and site upkeep, is too daunting a committment to partake. While businesses control their ad campaigns, they can't always oversee the venues where their content is distributed...at least, not enough to their own liking.

Many industries, although aware of teh Intarweb, are still firmly entrenced in the notion of traditional outlets (tv, print, etc.) being the best means of distribution. For novelty's sake, or archival purposes, content may be tied in to online promotions, but are not viewed as a long-term benefit, given the volatile nature of tech booms.

AdCritic's subscription model is intended as a service for its parent company's partners and clients, as well as a reference for media outlets/libraries and production outfits. The site was acquired by Advertising Age magazine/Crain Communications after nearly going out of business during its first incarnation. As much as AdCritic would've loved to have continued catering to the general public, there wasn't enough financial return to permit the site to continue operations. Hence, they went pro.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:38 PM on September 22, 2004

Ad Land is a similar site where you can view television commercials and, while not free, it is a great bargain: unlimited usage for 2€ a month.
posted by bradlands at 10:41 PM on September 22, 2004

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