HTC sending One users ads disguised as notifications

Advertising on the internet is commonly accepted these days, as is ads in things like magazines. But receiving ads on a smartphone, and one that's been fully paid for? Now that's bound to push a few people's buttons. Unfortunately, it's exactly what HTC has done recently, pushing an advertisement in the form of a notification to its One M9, M8, and M7 model phones. To be clear, HTC has never offered its One handset with a price subsidized by ads, similar to Amazon's cheapest Kindle model, thus users are not happy about it.

Those who've received the notification say it's designed to look like a recommendation for a theme based on the new Fantastic Four movie, but it's clearly not. Looking at screenshots, we can see the film's released date prominently featured in more than one place, along with movie studio logos.

Not every HTC One owner is seeing the ad, as they seem to be related to the Sense Home and BlinkFeed features. Users with different Android launchers are not receiving the notification.

It was revealed back in June that HTC said it was going to be experimenting with passive ads in the BlinkFeed. They were described as being placed next to the feed's normal news and social media updates, not a full-screen notification.

The advertising pilot program was also said to present an option for users to opt-out, however the Fantastic Four ads have begun appearing without explanation and without an option to make them stop. Some One users have resorted to turning off Sense Home notifications to make the ads stop, but that's a fairly inelegant solution. We'll keep you updated if HTC officially addressed the issue.

VIA Android Authority