While we’ve accepted the fact that advertising on the Internet is practically everywhere, particularly in free games or apps, we don’t like it when something is pushed to us without our permission, or if it is in something that we paid for and is not subsidized at all. Some owners of the HTC One M9, M8, and M7 models are quite unhappy now, as it seems the OEM is pushing ads that are seemingly shown as notifications but is in fact marketing something we didn’t give permission to do so.
The ad in question is that for the Fantastic Four movie. It looks like a recommendation for a theme based on the upcoming movie, but it clearly is advertising the movie itself, a the release date is shown, as well as the movie studio logos. And while those who are using other Android app launchers aren’t receiving it, if you use the Sense Home and Blinkfeed features exlusive for HTC One devices, then you have probably received it in your notifications.
HTC did announce in June that they will start placing passive ads in Blinked, which is their proprietary social media and news feed. They said they were going to place it next to the usual news and social media updates you receive on the app and that there will be an opt out option. But what users now have is a full-screen notification that appeared without prior warning, and that there isn’t any option to stop receiving them.
The option if you want to stop receiving these is to turn off your Sense Home notifications altogether, which is not something everyone will be keen on doing. And while the Fantastic Four movie is a fairly innocuous ad, what happens if it’s an ad for something really annoying or even offensive. No word yet from HTC about this issue.