Open Big Data

a directory of open access datasets for social science research

The Economist Historical Advertisements – Faces Dataset

This dataset contains 116.746 identified faces (bounding box location on image, predicted age and gender) for all historical advertisements from all 8,840 issues of The Economist magazine, years 1843 to 2014. Hereby, we used a state of the art classifier to detect said faces: You will need this Master Dataset, as well, to work with the data.

Keywords: Advertising, Marketing, Historic, The Economist, Faces, Demographic, Age, Gender


  1. Filename: Unique identifier of the advertisement this face appears on
  2. Bounding Box relative X1: Left-top coordinate of a rectangle identifying the face on the page, relative to the pixel coordinates of the image from column 2 (“URLs …”) of the Master Dataset (which is related to this dataset by the unique identifier in column 1). Multiply this value by the width of the image to get the absolute x coordinate. If the ad is a multi page ad, the images from column 2 have to be horizontally concatenated first.
  3. Bounding Box relative Y1: Left-top coordinate
  4. Bounding Box relative X2: Right-bottom coordinate
  5. Bounding Box relative Y2: Right-bottom coordinate
  6. Segmentation confidence score: Confidence of the neural network algorithm that these bounding boxes represent a face.
  7. Size relative: 1 = Face covers all of the ad; 0.5 = Face covers half the ad.
  8. Age: Predicted age of the face.
  9. Gender: Gender probability; 0 = male; 1 = female; 0.4 = 40% likelyhood of beeing female


Ammann, N., Knäble, M, Nadj, M., Maedche, A., Kluge, S., Gehrmann, L., Stahl, F.

Funding / Grants



Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International


FilenameBounding Box relative X1Bounding Box relative Y1Bounding Box relative X2Bounding Box relative Y2Segmentation confidence scoreSize relativeAgeGender

Related Datasets

The Economist Historical Advertisements – Master Dataset

The Economist Historical Advertisements – Objects Dataset

The Economist Historical Advertisements – Industry Subset “Banking”

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