From Adrants: As many have noted, Adrants has been sick. Ill from popularity. Strangled by those maddeningly eager to see what will be the next greatest advertising move. As a result, we are causing a server to stress out and exploded under the load. Hosts don’t like when that happens and they turn you off. Well, if you’re reading this, we’ve successfully moved off the coughing, gagging, suffocating server to a new, Hulk-strength server capable of serving the advertising industry’s salivating need for Adrants-style advertising news. Welcome back.
To begin with, AdWeek’s AdFreak reports: “It is indeed a hoax.” AdFreak reports, “neither VW nor any of its agencies (including DDB, its lead shop in Europe) had anything to do with this (viral ad).” It being the latest viral ad hoax. This one is a VW Polo faked ad. Adrants is reporting that “Stuart Fryer directed the hotly debated Volkswagen Polo viral ad” which caused (in part) the popularity of their site to surge.
Adrants.com (Google Cached Page)
has taken down the post on their site with the headline “VW Promotes Car With Terrorist Bombing” … and I bet I know why. ( Update: the post is back up, so I didn’t know why 🙂 ) Look at the headline. It isn’t “IS VW Promot(ing) Car With Terrorist Bombing?” Ooops!
OK, maybe it just caused a ‘slashdot’ like effect and knocked Adrants off line. [Update: As you see by the updates above, their site was crashed by sheer popularity. :)] Still, the initial wording of that headline, as fact – rather than question, is a bit troublesome.
Any of the links that surfers may have bookmarked earlier today are now greeted by something like this: “Forbidden You don’t have permission to access /2005/01/vw-promotes-car-with-terrorist-bombing.php on this server.”
In fact, the whole server is down. Did VW pull their plug? Even their main page at http://www.adrants.com/ brings you this: Forbidden You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
As of this writing, the ad is still available at rense.com. It is being written about at rense.com and World Net Daily and adweek’s adfreak. The best post (other than AdFreak’s scoop that VW is not involved), this one from unmediated.org.
Jason Calacanis refused to show the ad at his popular autoblog. Read Weblogs Inc. Sends VW Ad Packing. This also points out that some, who started out as innovative, daring, edgy, even snarky bloggers are now seeing profits from their efforts and eager to protect those profits by ‘not’ running with controversial ad postings.
Update: (Feb. 1) Autoblog published their reasons for not running the story on January 20th. I did not see this before writing my post here. (Please read the comments below for a clarification on this.)
This will be interesting to watch over the next day or two.