Should Phone Manufacturers Be Allowed to Send Ads via Push Notifications?

Push notifications on your phone can be great. They can alert you to different things going on within your apps, such as new email and new messages, but they can also send you advertisements from an app to entice you to visit.

But what happens when it’s your phone manufacturer that is sending you those ads? That was precisely the problem for Galaxy S8 users. Samsung has been sending them ads via push notifications from a preinstalled app. We asked our writers, “Should phone manufacturers be allowed to send ads via push notifications?”

Simon calls this “quite a dirty trick” and a “nefarious tactic.” He believes that if phone manufacturers wants to advertise on their devices, they should “provide an easy and obvious way to disable” it. He also thinks that combining the advertising with the method people use to be alerted to important emails, messages, and calls will “do more harm than good.” He considers the practice “double dipping.” Fabio agrees that it’s going too far

Trevor thinks the practice “would open the door for more and more marketing” and “analytics being used because we’d have to grant more permissions.” Additionally, he doesn’t care “what the manufacturer has to say or who their third party partner is.”

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Alex that he already gets “far too many notifications from apps that I actually want to use, and the last thing I need is garbage making my phone buzz every few minutes.” Additionally, he says phone manufacturers have so many platforms for advertising on mobile devices as it is, that “we don’t need to enable system-level advertising for developers and third parties.”

Jeffry says ” ‘Doing Business 101’ taught us that the first thing we need to do to build a lasting and profitable business is to get loyal customers and keep them loyal for as long as possible.” He wonders if the executives at Samsung, as well as others who believe this practice is okay, skipped that entry level class as what they were doing “will surely anger the once loyal customers and turn them into haters.”

I, of course, side with everyone else in this matter. It’s not okay. If Apple started doing that to me, I’d be really irritated and upset. Luckily I can turn off all or individual notifications on my iPhone, but if I couldn’t do that for Apple adds, I’d be really flustered.

All our writers certainly agreed, do you as well? Do you think this is a terrible business practice on the part of Samsung? Should phone manufacturers be allowed to send ads via push notifications? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.

6 comments

  1. I have several thoughts on this.

    First, I think it’s a scummy thing for a manufacturer to do.

    Second, if it’s not OPT-IN or at least easy OPT-OUT on the first notification, then I see it as a problem.

    Lastly, with manufacturers punishing users for rooting their devices, this sort of intrusion is going to become a big problem as manufacturers continue to become more brazen with these ads with no way for users to prevent them from popping up in the first place.

    I would personally try my best to avoid companies that use this “marketing strategy” as it shows a complete lack of respect for paying customers.

    • “it shows a complete lack of respect for paying customers.”
      Kindly disabuse yourself of the quaint notion that you are a “valued customer”. To the vast majority of companies, you and i and the public, are nothing more than a source of income to be exploited for the exclusive benefit of said companies.

      • “…you and i and the public, are nothing more than a source of income to be exploited for the exclusive benefit of said companies.”

        Unfortunately for them, we yield the ultimate power: We decide where our money goes.

        I have no problem leaving one brand or company for another based on how they treat their customers or the planet. If they insist on abusing the privilege of having our money, they don’t get it again.

        • Do we wield the ultimate power?! If we did then there would be no “Should Phone Manufacturers Be Allowed to Send Ads via Push Notifications?” discussion. There would already be laws in place disallowing the practice.

          I agree that we should vote with our wallets. However, the way things stand, we can only vote for the lesser of many evils. Ethical companies are few and far between. If you stand on principle and only spend your money on ethical companies, pretty soon you will not be able to vote.

          Besides, ethics, like beauty is in the eye of beholder. What is considered ethical in one country may be anathema in another. In certain countries ‘cumshaw’ is an accepted, even expected, part of doing business. Not so in the US.

  2. A few years back we solved this kind of thing with the, “No Call List”. Seems to me that it’s time for an update/upgrade. Add heavy fines, and jail time, or at least, litter collection Public Service type jobs.

    • ” Add heavy fines, and jail time, or at least, litter collection Public Service type jobs.”
      Good luck with that! To accomplish what you propose we need laws passed. To have laws passed, the lawmakers (politicians) need to be convinced. To convince the lawmakers money is needed. Unfortunately the transgressing companies are willing and able to spend much more money on convincing (lobbying) the lawmakers than the aggrieved public. The lawmakers are supposedly OUR representatives but, in reality, they represent the highest bidder.

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