We have all probably accepted the need for advertisements to help pay for our favourite free services, but HTC seems to have upset a number of its customers by recently using push notifications for advertising purposes. A number of HTC One M9, M8 and M7 owners are reporting a notification advertisement for the Fantastic Four movie.
Poorly disguised as a new recommended theme for the handset, the advertisement is also plastered with the release date for the film, along with a couple of company logos. What is perhaps most jarring about the advertisement is that it’s up front and center on the display, on a phone that retails with a $600+ price tag already.
The advertisement seems to be tied in with HTC’s Sense Home and Blinkfeed technology. Customers using other third party launchers don’t appear to have seen the same notification.
A couple of months ago, HTC already openly announced that it would be bringing advertisements to its software in select countries, but these were supposed to appear alongside regular news feed pieces. This is the first that we have heard of notification based HTC ads.
The US, UK, Germany, Taiwan and China were listed as taking place in the pilot program. At the time, HTC stated that it would be implementation a way for customers to opt out, but there doesn’t appear to be a setting implemented directly to address HTC specific advertisements yet. Some affected users have simply been disabling Sense Home notifications and that seems to do the trick, but it’s far from ideal.
HTC has been struggling to keep its mobile business in the black over the past few years, so the company may see advertising as a way to help boost its disappointing revenue. However, judging by the responses, this may end up putting off existing customers and might hurt the company’s reputation in the longer run.
Have you spotted the ad on your HTC One? Do you think this ad is intrusive or did you just swipe it away and forget about it?