EE, the British mobile operator, is looking into options to let its smartphone users control the ads they see on their mobile devices. According to reports from The Telegraph, EE’s Chief Executive, Olaf Swantee, is currently reviewing a strategy to help its mobile customers block ads, despite growing concern by the advertising industry that such practice could lead to major disruption of free websites and content.
EE reviews ad block options for mobile users
Swantee told The Sunday Telegraph:
“We think it’s important that, over time, customers start to be offered more choice and control over the level and intensity of ads on mobile. For EE, this is not about ad blocking, but about starting an important debate around customer choice, controls and the level of ads customers receive. This is an important debate that needs to happen soon. That’s why we’ve kicked off a strategic review internally to start considering our plans.”
EE plans to develop ad blocking tools for certain ads on the mobile web, but also in-app advertising, controlled by the mobile users themselves. EE stressed that it wasn’t going to block all advertising, but rather provide options to become more selective about ads. He adds:
“Advertising, when done well, can be a valued part of the experience. Not all ads are bad. When a business gets it right, it’s appreciated and sparks a connection. But when it’s intrusive or crass it can drive people crazy.”
The move is part of the telecoms company’s effort to enforce good behaviour from marketers as opposed to blocking ads altogether.
Ian Maude, Head of Internet, Enders Analysis, says:
“These are the overdue growing pains for the digital advertising industry. Most advertisers and publishers are responsible but it has a dark underbelly with fraud and over-intrusive tracking and this could force it to face up to that.”
The move follows Apple’s decision to roll out ad-blocking in iOS earlier this year.