The CommercialCloset.org , a great resource which aims to collect and gather feedback on all sorts of ads depicting gay people was in a geek word DDoS:ed by members of AFA last week.
The American Family Association is boycotting P&G due to a print ad for Downy Wrinkle Releaser that showed two men in bed together. Nevermind that the ad ran once only and four years ago, in a Gay magazine in Toronto, Canada. The AFA made it their pet project, see their site and boycott Procter and Gamble page. The link to the commercial closet in that elert was clicked on 1.5 million times an hour Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1, bringing the site down like a denial of service attack would, even though this was done by individuals and not some hackware. When service returned on Friday the Commercial Closet had to dubious pleasure of receiving thousands of hate emails from fans of the AFA who quote the bible backwards.
Commercial closet donations are the only thing keeping the non-profit ad collectors afloat and if you wish to even out the struggle so that this massive resource of commercials from all over the world can keep on trucking - more bandwidth, better servers - you should donate a few bucks.
Poor procter and gamble, when they're not accused of promoting Satan with their Man in the Moon logo, they're scoffed at by agency creatives all over the world. ;)
Shame that a third party resource had to feel the heat - though a shady marketeer might be thinking "wow, 1.5 million hits an hour!? How do I get my product on this mailinglist? Can I advertise there?" You know who you are, stop it right now.
Update: Michael Wilke from the Commercial Closet tells more.
db: - Do you have any idea why the AMERICAN F A used that four year old ad from Canada on your site as the catalyst in their boycott-tour?
CC: - I doubt the AFA just found our web site or the Downy Wrinkle Releaser ad -- it seems they strategically sat on it and waited for just the right moment.
The timing of their boycott, while not revealed in their alert, relates to P&G's support of a current effort to repeal a 1993 anti-gay law in
Cincinnati, where P&G is based. But for some reason, the Canadian print ad was more salacious to the AFA than legal stuff.
db: - Who's your ISP provider, how did they act to help restore your site, could they do anything to stop or slow down the onslaught of indivual AFA:ers?
CC: - Our web site is hosted and developed by Mediapolis. There wasn't anything that could be done in the beginning, but later when things slowed somewhat in the second day we posted a simple text page explaining the outage. Late on the East Coast of the third day, we got the site back up, though traffic remained strong, but we removed the page with Downy's ad. (Mediapolis said that simply removing the page earlier would have still overtaxed the server,
and could only be useful later on.)
db: - Makes sense, they can't really ban thousands of individual IP's at a server level without blocking some legit traffic really. So the last Q then; Will you be taking any legal action? Can you?
CC: - We cannot, the situation does not appear to be malicious toward us. We were "collateral damage" as the military likes to call it. I suspect, though, we've won over a number of new "converts" so to speak, who are less gay friendly but fascinated by our collection.