Tumblr’s David Karp Flatters Advertisers

The Tumblr founder who once said advertising “really turns our stomachs” told a group of advertisers at the Cannes Lions festival that they were “more talented than anyone in the Tumblr office or in Palo Alto or Sunnyvale.”


David Karp, this year’s Kevin Systrom, appeared at the Mediterranean back-slap-athon that is the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to talk to advertisers.


And what a talk it was. Advertisers were, he said, more innovative than software engineers could ever be, and they were more innovative than anyone in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, or even the Tumblr office. “We are constantly in awe, constantly in service.”

Anyone who remembers that Karp quote from 2010 about advertising making him feel sick, well, that’s all in the past now. Onwards and upwards, brands, to infinity and beyond!

His speech comes just a month after Tumblr was scooped up by big purple people eater Yahoo for a “F*** yeah” $1.1 billion, and on the same day the two made the deal official, with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reassuring Tumblr users that their beloved product would not change.

Tumblr is to be Yahoo’s creative outlet, and Karp said he wanted his site to be the place where agencies and brands do their best digital work. Tumblr, he added, was nothing like Facebook or Twitter.

Another odd quote from the speech? This one:

“I don’t want a kid looking at cute bears because it’s their favorite animal and then running into gay porn.”

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S