In an attempt to improve the daily lives of its customers, Three is planning to block ads for all of the customers using its network in the UK.
The company will block all mobile ads for its users for one day next month. The trial will last for 24 hours but if it is received successfully by Three customers, the company has hinted that it would be willing to expand its experiment.
Three has decided to block the mobile ads that its customers see because it believes that the current ad model is broken. Before beginning the trial, the company will contact its users in order to ask them whether or not they wish to participate during the week of 13 June. They will also be able to sign up via Three's website to take part in the trial.
There are three main reasons that Three has decided to undergo what could be a risky endeavour. First it believes that its customers should not have to pay for the data used to display mobile ads and that advertisers should be responsible for covering the cost of the data used to display ads. Secondly it wants to protect customer privacy and finally Three believes its customers should only be shown ads which are actually relevant to them.
However if Three does go ahead and block all of the mobile ads its users receive, it will have to intercept and read through all of the content on its customers phones in order to block the ads in the first place.
Tom Malleschitz, chief marketing officer at Three, detailed the company's decision to block mobile ads from its customers' smartphones: “This is the next step in our journey to make mobile ads better for our customers. The current ad model is broken. It frustrates customers, eats up their data allowance and can jeopardise their privacy. Something needs to change.”
“We can only achieve change by working with all stakeholders in the advertising industry – customers, advertising networks and publishers – to create a new form of advertising that is better for all parties.”
Three's trial is certainly ambitious and it will be interesting to see how many of its customers opt in for an ad-free 24 hours.
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