Wikipedia is, proudly, advertising-free.
Well, sort of.
Every page of the site now features a humongous ad featuring the head of Jimmy Wales, a Wikipedia co-founder.
Jimmy’s personal message to Wikipedia’s hundreds of millions of readers?
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Wikipedia can’t be expected to survive on nothing.
But inasmuch as Wikipedia is going to run huge Jimmy Wales ads requesting donations, wouldn’t it be just as efficient to run, say, BMW ads? Or Coke ads? Or ads from any of dozens of multi-national organisations that would LOVE to be seen as bringing you Wikipedia.
Unlike other publications, Wikipedia is produced by you, its readers. So it’s not like buying ads would allow Coke to have undue influence over the site. And the entries on Coke and other related companies and products could have special disclaimers saying “Coke is a Wikipedia sponsor” or whatever.
Mozilla, another non-profit, gets paid huge money by Google to include a Google search window in every browser, so having a commercial sponsor as a highly successful Internet non-profit is hardly unprecedented.
So, how about it, Wikipedia? Want to spare your readers from having to look at massive ads for Jimmy Wales?