CONFIRMED: Tumblr Is Searching For An Ad Sales Chief

David Karp Tumblr

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Tumblr is searching for an ad sales chief, the company confirmed, which seems to indicate that the blog platform is finally getting serious about revenue generation.Tumblr spokesperson Katherine Barna said:

“We are looking for someone. We currently have people working on revenue products and partnerships and now it’s about leadership to take it to the next level.”

A source who was contacted during the search tells us that the job almost certainly will not have an “ad sales” title, but basically that’s what the gig entails: Finding partnerships with companies that want relevant exposure on Tumblr and extracting revenue from them.

It’s about time.

Thus far, Tumblr has only experimented with non-intrusive sponsored content that benefits users. Cartoon Network was one client for that effort. CEO David Karp (pictured) previously declined to confirm that he hired an outside guy to work on an AdSense-like product.

From the point of view of advertisers, a proper sales chief would put Tumblr in the same consideration bracket as Facebook and Twitter. Both of those companies have had sales management for some time: chief revenue officer Adam Bain at Twitter and ad sales chief Carolyn Everson at Facebook. (It would also solve an obvious problem: Even if you want to engage with Tumblr, who do you call to set something up?)

A new revenue development executive at Tumblr would have to solve Tumblr’s main problem if it wants to start making serious money from branded content: What to do about all the porn and copyright infringing content that litters the site.

Two sources in the online advertising world recently told us that many companies have strict policies about not placing ads or branding in environments that contain stolen or adult-oriented content, and thus cannot go anywhere near Tumblr.